Who said that Valentine’s Day was just for people? Our dogs play an important role in our lives and just for some fun, why not celebrate the other love of your life with a doggy date night!
Four-in-five people say they pamper their pooch at any given opportunity, and seven out of 10 people admit their dog is their best friend, so there is no pretending that we won’t consider treating our dogs to a Valentine’s date. So here is some inspiration to help you decide the best way to spoil your dog this Valentine’s Day.
Planning Date Nights At Home
Most dog parents know all too well just how close their four-legged friends like to snuggle up when it’s time to chill on the sofa. Why not embrace your dog’s love of blankets, cuddles and the occasional nibble of some popcorn with a movie night to remember? Plus, cuddling with a dog leads to the release of the ‘happiness’ hormone, oxytocin, in both animals and us, further increasing our bond.
Buy them a special dinner, or let them have a few scraps from your plate to go with their regular food and spend an evening relaxing and embracing the lazy lifestyle. Your dog will love the extra time with you and it’s a great excuse to pick a film you’ve been itching to watch for a while and make an event of it.
Whether it’s getting your hair cut, enjoying a massage or taking a long soak in the bath, a pampering session always does us the world of good. If your dog is a fan of going to the groomer then book them in an extra special service this coming Valentine’s Day. Given that we’re in the middle of winter, the routine of trudging through the mud once or twice a day quickly wears thin.
While your dog will enjoy being caked in mud, they will also love being washed, massaged and de-fluffed. From luxury grooming treatments to simple washes, a trip to the groomer can be a great way to show your dog that you love them. Plus they come back smelling lovely so on your date night you won’t have to keep catching whiffs of something terrible from them.
Teaching Your Dog Some New Tricks
Most dogs enjoy learning a new trick, particularly because it involves an ample supply of treats to positively reinforce good behaviour. Stimulating their brains and senses is a great way to treat your dog and it can be just as tiring for them as going on a walk.
Or maybe your dog’s behaviour hasn’t been the best lately and it’s getting you down. Negative feelings can taint your view of situations and interactions, and owning a dog is meant to be a joyful experience. Perhaps then, you can use Valentine’s Day as a springboard for positive change in your dog’s behaviour. Dedicate some time to helping your dog become a better and happier version of themselves by teaching them a new trick or trying to improve certain aspects of their behaviour.
Walking (For Miles)
While walking isn’t something that excites every dog, most of them are quite happy when you pick up their leash. Although our dogs are domesticated, they just love an excuse to get outside, roam free and explore. Walking the dog can also benefit us mentally and physically, so it’s a great self-care activity to enjoy this Valentine’s Day.
Walks are mentally stimulating for dogs as they allow them to smell and discover new things and socialise with other dogs but perhaps just as importantly, it’s another chance to spend time with their best friend – you.
Ordering Something Special From The Butcher
Most dogs love meat, so visit their favourite shop (the butcher) and bring them home something special. Whether that is a small serving of steak or a marrow bone to occupy them for some time, a fresh treat from the butcher is a great way to put a smile on their face. If you are also a meat eater then there’s no harm in treating yourself to something special too – it is date night after all!
Making Treats Yourself
Cooking is seen as a labour of love and you can show your pooch some special love by making dog-friendly treats for them. As the fastest way to your dog’s heart is through their stomach, consider whipping up a batch of biscuits, treats or frozen goodies to spoil them with.
If your pet has allergies then it’s even more of a reason to whip them something special up to avoid buying treats from the shop that can contain common allergens like wheat, dairy or egg.
- Homemade dog biscuits
- Frozen apple slices
- Peanut butter treats
- Frozen pumpkin and yoghurt
- Calming chamomile biscuits
Something To Play With
If your dog is an inquisitive soul then consider buying them a new toy that gets them thinking. From treat mats to puzzles, there is a wide range of interactive toys we can buy our dogs that encourage mental stimulation.
But if they love nothing more than tearing the insides out of a cuddly toy, then perhaps it’s time to sacrifice another soft and cute stuffed animal to your dog’s altar. Of course, some dogs just want a cuddly friend to share their bed with so if your dog is of a more gentle disposition, there’s no harm in spending a little extra for a Valentine’s Day ‘friend’ that will last longer.
Wearing Stylish Clothes And Accessories
The range of clothes and accessories for dogs on the market is extensive and you can style your dog to match your outfit if you prefer. While not every dog needs to wear clothes, some benefit from an extra layer in the cold months either when out for walks or at home.
You may also consider treating your dog to a cosy fleece or drying coat to help them dry after you have rinsed them down post muddy walk. Some dogs get so cosy in their additional layer that it becomes the perfect reason to curl up into a ball and take a long nap.
Adoring Your Dog This Valentine’s Day
There is plenty of love to go around so consider putting some your dog’s way for being such a bringer of joy to your life. Sure, they won’t have a clue why they are being treated but you can bet your house that you won’t hear them complaining.