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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and many people await the day in hopeful anticipation of what their partner might be buying or planning, whilst others are somewhat anxious about impressing and can find the whole thing quite stressful!
Not everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day of course, and whether you’re single or in a relationship, there is no rule saying that you have to. You can of course also take the opportunity to let other people that are important in your life know how much they mean to you as well, including your dog; and many of us greatly prefer the company of our dogs to most people, so why not.
If you want to buck the trend this Valentine’s Day and do something special with your dog or take the chance to let them know that you love them, there is an almost unlimited range of things your dog will enjoy and appreciate, depending on their own personal preferences.
However, there are also a few things that might seem like a great way of showing your dog that you love them that they actually won’t enjoy, or that won’t be good for them; and this is what we’ll look at within this article.
Read on to find out five things you shouldn’t do to show your dog you love them on Valentine’s Day.
First up, this one should be obvious to dog owners, but it is worth repeating anyway because chocolate can be so dangerous to dogs. Don’t give your dog chocolate on Valentine’s Day – or on any other day of the year for that matter.
Dogs enjoy the taste of chocolate just as much as people do (although there are few foods that dogs don’t like, and so they might not have any particular preference for it) but unlike us, it is very dangerous to dogs. Chocolate contains theobromine, which the dog’s body can’t process, making it toxic and potentially threatening to your dog’s life.
If you want to give your dog a special Valentine’s Day treat, pick something dog-safe; and make sure your dog can’t get to any chocolates you yourself might have received as a gift!
Not giving your dog chocolate might seem like a no-brainer to most dog owners, but this one is a bit more confusing for some; why shouldn’t you give your dog a hug?
Well. Hugging is of course a human way of showing affection, and dogs don’t have the same anatomy as us, and so do not and cannot hug in the same way. When you put your arms round your dog’s neck or otherwise use your arms to hug them, you’re confining them, and even though dogs love physical affection and closeness, being confined like this isn’t read as affection.
It is read as dominance and control and can make dogs that are shy or nervous particularly uncomfortable, even if you have been together for years; and even for very confident dogs, they essentially don’t know what a hug is and won’t understand why you’re pinning them down.
Stick to patting and petting them in the way you know they like!
Many couple’s Valentine’s Day celebrations include a fancy meal, often including a juicy and delicious steak! If you’re planning on enjoying something special to eat and/or want to give your dog something really special and don’t mind spending a bit, then a succulent and perfectly cooked steak might seem like the ultimate treat for your dog.
Your dog will absolutely enjoy their steak – but this isn’t good for them. A steak is far too rich and fatty for a dog, and if on the bone and cooked, the bone itself can pose a problem too. That’s before we get into any of the additional risks that could be posed by seasonings and garnish.
Don’t give your dog a steak; find something else more appropriate instead.
Valentine’s Day and most other holidays and special occasions are apt to result in Instagram and other social media accounts becoming wallpapered with cute pet pics in seasonal attire, dressed up and looking adorable for the occasion.
However, much like those aforementioned hugs, dressing up is something people might enjoy, but dogs don’t. They find it confusing, potentially restrictive, and often, stressful. Even if your dog is calm and tolerant, it is not something they will actively enjoy and so isn’t a good way to demonstrate your love for your pet.
Finally, if you’re celebrating a special occasion with your dog you might feel like it’s ok to let the usual rules that apply to your dog slacken off somewhat; perhaps allowing them to sit on the sofa or sleep on your bed if they’re not usually allowed to.
However, unless you’re planning to let your dog do this all the time in future, you’re not doing them any favours by letting them do it once, as you’ll be enforcing the rules again the next day, and your dog will be confused.
Inconsistency and not understanding the rules and boundaries are stressful for dogs, so don’t be tempted to let them get away with things they wouldn’t usually be allowed to do; this isn’t kind.
More on this theme? Please check out this article: Five Ways To Show Your Dog You Love Them This Valentine’s Day
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