Valentine’s Day is a time for expressing affection for loved ones by going the extra mile, whether it be through gifts, days out, or simply taking more time to be together. Many pet owners will be looking for ways to make the day extra special for their beloved pets, and experts at Canagan have shared their top tips on how to do just that.
It can be difficult to devote time to your pet around a busy working lifestyle, but try to set aside an evening so you can spend quality bonding time together. Just like us, our pets want to feel loved. Human touch can have therapeutic effects, and the lovely news is, stroking a pet is good for us too; our bodies release a relaxation hormone, helping to combat stress and lower blood pressure.
Relax on the sofa together until you fall asleep, or enjoy playtime, interspersed with scratches behind the ear and tummy rubs. Your body language and upbeat tone of voice can really make your pet feel special.
Treat them to a new toy
Gifting a fun new toy to your pet can brighten their day and provide hours of entertainment. Playing together will strengthen your bond and make you smile too. Whether they’re chasing the toy along the ground or racing up a new cat tree, the exercise will keep them fit and eliminate excess energy. A squeaky or wiggling toy for them to bite or grasp will also satisfy their animal instincts, stimulate their minds and promote good dental hygiene. So, the benefits go beyond fun!
Don’t worry, there’s no need to invest in expensive toys – blowing bubbles or making a scavenger box will be just as appreciated. Pets also love a game of ‘hide and seek’ which doesn’t come with a price tag – if your pet is trained to ‘stay’ and ‘come’ when you call them, this will keep them entertained.
Go on a long walk
Ditch your usual walking route for the day and mix it up by taking your pet somewhere new to explore with you. Whether it be a beach or woodlands, there are plenty of beautiful locations in the UK to visit and your dog will really enjoy an engaging walk by their best friend’s side. This means, putting away your phone, clearing your mind of any distracting thoughts, and purely focusing your attention on exploring the outdoors with your four-legged friend.
For real quality time, why not go on a staycation with your pet? There are plenty of dog-friendly hotels and pubs to try!
Arrange a doggie play-date
Dogs are naturally pack animals, so rely on interaction for entertainment and development. If a friend or neighbour has a pooch, why not suggest a meet-up? A walk around your local area, followed by a stop at the pub, will prove enjoyable all round.
There’s recently been an exciting rise in community dog walks and even dog cafes! These give your canine the chance to socialise with different breeds and characters, while you chat to like-minded animal lovers. MeetUp lets you find walking groups in your area, while the Pup Up Cafe travels around the UK hosting parties for pets – complete with tasty ‘puppuccinos’.
Find a fun February event!
Good news, dog lovers. There are lovely events taking place across the UK through Valentine’s month for you and your pup to enjoy:
- Bark In The Park – Saturday 22nd February in Leeds: Walk through Temple Newsam on a route of either one, three or six miles, to raise funds for St Gemma’s Hospice. Your pup can have a go at agility courses and Flyball – a sport where dogs race against each other over a line of hurdles
- Dog Yoga – 16th February in London: Unwind with your pup at dog yoga, or ‘doga’ – the practise is said to strengthen the bond you share. Don’t be disheartened if their ‘downward dog’ is better than yours, though!
- Run Your Paws Off: Love Your Dog – Sunday 26th February in Upton, Peterborough: Run 5k or 10k with your four-legged friend in this off-road, cross country style challenge
Whip up their favourite meal or treat
It’s no secret that dogs and cats love food. Why not treat your pooch this Valentine’s Day with a delicious meal like venison and wild boar stew? Your cat may also lick their lips over tuna with crab. Be mindful to keep treats pet-friendly, as many of our favourite foods can be toxic to our four-legged friends.
Your pet sees you as their valentine every day, showing you unconditional love in so many ways. They don’t need red roses or fancy restaurants. They deserve so much more but, to them, just a little love goes a long way.