Did you give your pet a Valentine’s gift?

If you have missed Valentines for your pet, look to Feb. 20th. Which is “Love Your Pet” day. I am amazed there is such a day, but I polled my fur family and of course they want to celebrate!

If you know your pets, you know that they enjoy experiences maybe more than actual things. I have had a long list of disappointments over toys and gifts I have given my pets only to have them give it one sniff and never look at it again. (I am going through this with my new foster dog with BOTH toys and TREATS. The stuff that Lucie and Gracie liked she glances at and walks away. She likes cheese, and we actually ate two pounds of cheese together the week I figured that out.
So I am sampling stuff for Dee-Dee, and not getting too upset if she doesn’t like something.).

My first suggestion is to make dog or cat treats with your pets. This link has several recipes you can try: https://www.pawtracks.com/dogs/homemade-valentines-day-treats-dogs/

You can also put together items that your dog loves (Deedee likes cheese & peanut butter, but I found out she doesn’t like the two together).

Spending time with your pets is always a gift that they enjoy. You may say, “Well I work from home so we are always together”. But the reality is your pet isn’t the focus in many of those hours. Give you pet the gift of getting your undivided attention; be that from going on a walk together, playing with their toys with them (wand toys with most cats are sure winners) or having a petting session.

Some pets would love a spa day; others will see that as torture. You know your pet, so chose accordingly. Most pets enjoy being brushed, well actually, my cats that enjoy being brushed had to get used to it. A bath isn’t the favorite event for most cats, but there are dogs that love water, be that a kiddy pool or going to a park with fountains. Also, a spa day massage could be a welcome treat; just make sure that you are rubbing them the right way!

Have a photo shoot! Having lost pets in the past, I know I will never have enough photos of them. There are photographers who take professional pictures of your pets now. My photographer doesn’t like to photograph animals, because it is hard to get them looking at the camera. If you have an Instagram pet, they may know how to pose. I only have to tell Samson to pose once, and I get amazing photos. I tried to do the same thing with my cat Buffy, and after an hour did not have a great photo but was very irritated with how horrible she could look. Don’t get me wrong, I have some great photos of Buffy. But they have come from times when she looked great and was naturally posing, not from set up photo shoots where I wanted a picture of her with a certain item or in a certain place. In my experience, pets either like to pose or they don’t. Either way, make sure you have great photos in case you lose your pet earlier than you want.

Something we ALL can do for our pets that doesn’t even cost anything is to tell them we love them. The average dog knows the same amount of words as a toddler, and even if they don’t know the word love, they will feel the vibration and emotion in your voice. So spend a few minutes telling your pet how much you love them. Also, make sure you tell them that they have a forever home. It is always a question that is in the background, and so make sure that your pet knows, and isn’t guessing if they will be thrown out on the road tomorrow. This is especially important to rescue pets. They have gone through being abandoned once already, and live with a fear of it happening again. It is a relief to them to hear that they don’t have to worry anymore.

The great thing about pets is that whatever you chose to do with them on “Love your Pet Day” they will be ecstatic about it if it means that you are spending quality time with them. That’s the most important thing, and anything after that is secondary.

Unless of course, you have a treat that they like, then that may come first for the moment.

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