With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, there’s no better time to talk about pampering your pet! Yes, I’m sure a lot of us have mixed feelings about the holiday in general. Whether we’re grateful for a long-term relationship, still suffering the sting of heartbreak, looking for something new, or entirely indifferent to romance in general, Valentine’s Day can elicit a full spectrum of human emotions, some good and some pretty bad. But regardless of where we currently stand on the issue of human romance, as pet owners we can surely agree that the affection we get from our pets remains priceless, and worth celebrating in all its forms. This is why at PAWS/LA, we like to use the build-up to Valentine’s Day as an excuse to indulge our beloved companion animals, thanking them for giving us love when we need it the most. Or whatever...I mean, you don’t have to get so soppy about everything...sheesh.
Here are seven ways to pamper your furry (or scaled, or feathered) friends this winter:
Special Treats and dishes
Food is a universal love language that transcends species. To feed another creature well is to speak eloquently of your affection for it, often in gooey, high-calorie syllables, although a few lean, green remarks would likely do just as well...Whichever direction you decide to go in, consider pampering your pet with homemade treats or a specially prepared meal. You can find a variety of recipes online. Or you can buy premade goodies if you’re short on time. Either way, by giving extra attention to your pet's diet, you’ll be reminding them that they’re special to you! Just keep their nutritional requirements in mind, avoiding foods that might prove harmful. Chocolate, for example, while a Valentine's staple for humans, can be deadly for dogs and cats.
Upgrade your pet's sleeping area with a cozy new bed and collection of luxurious blankets. Whether a plush pillow, soft comforter, or silky-smooth mat, providing a comfortable and warm space will make your pet feel especially cherished. Consider adding some heart-shaped pillows for that extra touch of Valentine's Day spirit.
Make It Special With a Trip to the Spa
Treat your pet to a spa day. This could include a gentle bath using pet-friendly products, a brushing session to keep their coat shiny and healthy, and even a gentle massage. Like their human owners, most pets enjoy this kind of attention and relaxation. For those who live close to The Grove shopping complex, Pour La Pooch handles grooming for PAWS/LA clients and we can attest to both the great work that they do, and the kind-heartedness they show those in need.
Toys AND ACCESSORIES!
Show your love by keeping your pet entertained. Invest in some new interactive toys that challenge their minds and keep them physically active. Puzzle feeders, interactive balls, or toys that dispense treats can provide mental stimulation and endless entertainment. You could also spoil your pet with customized accessories. Whether it's a new collar, a tag with their name and a heart charm, or a cozy sweater for the winter season, these personalized items show that you've put thought into making them feel special.
Capture the love by having a mini photoshoot with your pet. Create a festive backdrop with heart-shaped decorations or red and pink hues. Capture those adorable moments and create lasting memories. You can even turn the photos into a personalized Valentine's Day card or photo book.
ADVENTURES AND FRIENDS
Take your pet on an adventure. Whether it's a walk in the park, a hike in nature, or a trip to the beach, spending quality time outdoors can be a wonderful way to bond. Consider exploring new places that your pet hasn't been before to make it extra special. Similarly, if your pet enjoys the company of other animals, arrange a playdate. This can be a fun and social way for them to spend Valentine's Day, surrounded by the human and animal companions that they love.
Sometimes, all your pet needs is your undivided attention. Spend some quality time cuddling on the couch or bed. Your pet will appreciate the warmth and comfort of your presence, making them feel truly loved.
KEEP SPREADING THE LOVE
Your pet's unconditional love is a gift that deserves to be celebrated every day, but that shouldn’t stop you from using Valentine's Day as the perfect excuse to go above and beyond in expressing your affection for your animal, maybe kickstarting a renewed attempt to strengthen the already powerful bonds you share. Whether it's through delicious treats, cozy accessories, or simply spending quality time together, these gestures will make your pet feel cherished and adored. And of course, there’s no need to let the love stop at your own doorstep. With so many animals on the streets or in shelters, it’s more important than ever to cherish what we have, and to spread our affection freely and without reservations.
Our blog is managed by Ryan Hilary with additional contributions from the PAWS/LA team. Are you a member of our community and have a great idea for a post (or maybe want to write one yourself?). Reach out to Rhilary@pawsla.org.