By Kathy Rausch, DVM
Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Do you know what you’re going to get
your sweetheart? Maybe you’ve thought ahead and have the cards, dinner reservations, and flowers all prepared for the people you love – but what about your other sweetheart? The one who’s there for you daily? The one who loves you unconditionally? Doesn’t your pet deserve a Valentine’s Day gift as well?
The Internet is full of recipes for homemade dog treats (cut with a heart-shaped cookie cutter), blingy collars, and fancy dishes. Those are fun, but how about giving your pet something a little longer-lasting? Here are a few examples:
THE GIFT OF WARMTH
It sure has been cold outside. Freezing. We can bundle up and stay indoors, but your dog has to go outside to do his business, day or night. Why not get him a warm coat to keep the wind away? Maybe some boots to keep his paws off the ice & snow? And while you’re at it, what about a nice new cozy bed? Be honest now, how long has he had that bed? And when’s the last time you washed the cover? Some refreshing will keep him warm and cozy until spring!
THE GIFT OF COMFORT
The new cozy bed is great, but your dog will feel even better snuggled up in it if he’s as clean and fresh as it is. Consider giving your friend a day at the dog spa to celebrate Valentine’s. He’ll feel great when he comes home with a trim haircut, clean and freshly blown out, brushed to fluffiness, and with a nail trim. Speaking of his nails and feet, how are his paw pads? Are they cracked and dry from exposure to ice, snow, and cold air? You can use paw balm (make your own or you can buy some – Burt’s Bees makes a good one) on his paws & nose to keep the skin soft & supple.
THE GIFT OF HEALTH
This final category is perhaps the most important one of all. Your dog is looking good and feeling good, but is there something else you can do to improve his health and keep him in good shape? Is he overdue for his shots? Is it time to do some bloodwork to make sure he looks as good on the inside as he does on the outside? And what about that dental exam you’ve been meaning to schedule? Now is the time! Make that appointment with your vet to get your dog caught up on all the things he needs to keep him strong and healthy and feeling good for a long time to come. We know – for many dogs, a trip to the vet isn’t exactly a dream come true. But since he can’t act in his own best interest in this regard, you have to step up and do it for him. When it comes right down to it, that’s probably the best Valentine’s Day gift you can give him!
We hope you and your furry Valentine have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! If your pet does experience an emergency like getting into chocolate or other Valentine’s Day dangers, both our Oakdale and St. Paul clinics are open 24/7 and our emergency teams are ready to help!