Valentine’s Day is the time of year we tend to most associate with love, and telling that special someone in our lives just how much they mean to us. However, Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be about being in love with a partner, and even if you don’t have a partner at all (or perhaps especially if you don’t!) then there’s no reason Valentine’s Day can’t be an opportunity to show your dog that you love them too.
So, a box of chocolates and a bunch of flowers clearly aren’t the way to go here, particularly the former, given that chocolate will make your dog sick… In which case, how can you show your dog that you love them in a way that they will understand and find meaningful? It’s a little bit different for dogs than it is for people!
If you want to know how to show your dog that you love them and really make Valentine’s Day special for them, the good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune, and lots of the things that your dog will find most memorable and valuable are totally free.
The thing that dogs want more than anything else in the world is your time, and undivided attention; things that many of us find hard to enable, or inadvertently miss, such as by walking around the park glued to our phones instead of paying the dog as much attention as they warrant.
This article will provide five suggestions on how to make this Valentine’s Day a day that your dog will really enjoy, and give you plenty of inspiration on how to show them that you love them. Read on to find out more.
You walk your dog in the park every day, right? So, what’s so special about doing that on Valentine’s Day? Well, it’s not about where you go, it’s about what you do when you get there.
Whether you’re heading to the same park you spend most walks in or trying a new one, make your dog, and your dog’s happiness, the key to the whole endeavour. Put your phone in your pocket and pay your dog your full attention, take their favourite toys, make their walk longer than normal, and generally spend the whole time engaging with them, playing with them, keeping them amused, and making this trip to the park their best trip to the park ever.
Doggy daycare centres and similar businesses aren’t always just for dog owners to leave their dogs at while they do other things; many also serve as a kind of soft play for dogs, which owners can stay for and join in with.
This is really good fun for many playful, social dogs, and there are several similar but alternative ideas you might want to treat your dog to if that’s not a great fit. If your dog loves canine sport or might like to have a go, going along to a session or hiring an agility course or other facility for an hour can be great fun for both of you.
Many local areas also have secured enclosed runs and safe outdoor spaces that can be hired privately for dogs that are reactive, not social, or prone to bolting off, where they can run freely without risk of causing a danger to others, so check that out too if your dog might benefit.
Most dogs have a best friend, if they tend to socialise with the same set of dogs regularly, or are used to spending time with and visiting a friend of yours with a dog of their own. If this is true for your dog, set up a play date for you and their bud; or even if the other dog owner can’t make it themselves and you’re both confident in your ability to supervise and control both dogs, take the pair of them out on a date together!
If your dog just loves other dogs in general and doesn’t have a real favourite, simply take them to somewhere they will be able to play and interact with lots of other dogs instead.
Dogs love to explore new environments, to take in all of the new smells, sights and other stimulus. Valentine’s Day could be a great opportunity for you to take your dog to somewhere they might not usually be able to go; such as a national park or other trail a little further from home, or a beach.
As Valentine’s Day falls in February, beaches that have restrictions or forbid dogs at more popular times of the year will tend to be open to you, but always check before you head out to make sure.
Having a dog is the ultimate long-term relationship, and like all relationships, over time we tend to become a little slacker about how much work we put into things, and get more comfortable with each other and fall into a routine.
But like any other long-term relationship, you have to work on your relationship with your dog over the long term to keep your bond strong, maintain your relationship, and show your dog how much you value them.
This Valentine’s Day, make a long term commitment to your dog to improve their life; make more time for them, do more of what they enjoy, and also, to take care of them in the best possible way too.
This might mean some tough love, such as putting your dog on a diet or helping them to get a little more active; but those are some of the best ways to show your dog that you really love them overall, because they are done with your dog’s best interests in mind for the long term.