5 Ways to Show Your Pet Love This V-Day

No matter where life takes us, we will always have our two, four, maybe even eight-legged friends beside us as companions. And honestly, those furry friends we share our home with can never receive enough appreciation. From all of the rants, they listen to and don’t understand, to all of the hours we leave them alone, praying that our living space will remain the same as we remember it when we return. It is only fair that this Valentine’s Day, at least for a little bit, we spare some appreciation for our pets. Here is a list of ways to do so. 

  1. 1. Start a Book Club

    hand holding book open

    Whether or not we realize it, our pets can feel left out, even though we are feet away from them at some times. If you enjoy doing activities which some might find mundane, try sharing this activity with your beloved confidant. 

    Enjoy reading? There are benefits of sharing this with that dog resting on your lap. Country Veterinary Clinic states that reading aloud to dogs can not only result in a decrease of chronic stress but also helps to improve one’s “self-confidence and public speaking skills” (Country Veterinary Clinic). 

    But dogs aren’t the only animals capable of catching the reading bug. Steve Wartenburg of the blog Columbus Monthly shares in his article “Columbus Pets Guide: Read to Cats” that this activity is also feline-friendly. Reading to animals is usually recommended for young children in hopes to advance their reading skills but is also said to make demure cats a little more outgoing. Gail Harbert, who was interviewed by Wartenburg, said that this kind of action is what “gets them [cats] used to hearing a kind, human voice” (Wartenburg). 

  2. 2. Help Them Pursue Their Art Career

    If reading isn’t your thing, try this hands--or rather, paws-on approach many pet-owners have been partaking in. This new online trend dubbed the “dog painting challenge” is a sure way for your furry friend to tap into their innovative side. One creative corgi, named Tofu, displayed her masterpiece to millions through this video posted on her Instagram account (@tofu_corgi) where she attempted the challenge herself. 

     

     Believe it or not, the process is simpler than you might think. All that is required is a canvas (any size) as well as a Ziploc bag that the canvas can fit in, any color paint of your choice, and at least one four-legged friend and you have an art piece in the making. 

    There are no brushes required for making this piece. First, add a few lines or drops of paint onto the canvas. Next, grab some natural peanut butter safe for your dog to consume and spread it all over the top of the Ziploc bag. Carefully slide the canvas into the Ziploc bag and seal it closed. After, lay it down in a place for your dog to reach and admire his/her effort to be the next Van Gogh as they lick up the peanut butter you have just treated them to. When you are satisfied with their attempt, you can carefully remove the canvas from the bag and set their work out to dry. The best part about this activity is that it is one you can remember (and admire) forever. 

    Alternatively, if you are a cat owner, try substituting the peanut butter with catnip and end up with a piece just as marvelous and eye-catching to hang in the house. 

  3. 3. Treat Your Pet to a New Do!

    Grey hair dryer near pink comb and scrunchies

    Many pet owners are well aware that grooming is not liked amongst the pets of the house. But if you are one of the lucky few whose dog or cat doesn’t put up a fuss with a trim, try being bold in this trip to the groomers. This idea might sound ludicrous, however, the benefits of treating your pet to a new haircut are more than superficial. PetMD recommends brushing dogs regularly, no matter the breed. Not only does this allow for the removal of “dead hair, dirt, and dandruff” but “also helps to bring out the natural oils in the dog’s fur” and lead to “a healthy sheen” on your BBF’s (Best Barking Friend) coat (PetMD). 

    The effects of brushing are similar for cats. It is especially recommended that pets with longer hair are treated to a regular groom as their fur can become a matted heap of knots if not tended to. While getting their haircut, maybe pay extra for a nail trim for your sake. 

  4. 4. Get Active with Them

    Since Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, spend this day giving your pet some well-deserved playtime. Splurge on a few toys, if necessary. They might hardly see you during the week as it is, and--if there is a lack of other animals in the household--can become bored easily. Playing can build your bond or “strengthen it”, according to Pedigree. Additionally, physical activity shared between you and your pet can keep both of your hearts at peak performance and acts as an incredibly efficient stress reliever.

  5. 5. Whip Up Some DIY Sweets

     

    Do not get the wrong idea. This is not an encouragement for you to spoon-feed them a chocolate souffle or Brandy cheesecake. Rather, this is a suggestion for you to try a few all-natural dog-biscuit recipes that you can make right in your kitchen. And Pinterest has loads of ideas for you to try out. Additionally, a quick search online can pull up strings of various DIY cat treats, including Pumpkin Salmon Kitty Bits (courtesy of Tina Verelli via epicuricloud).

Whatever you decide to do this Valentine's Day, be sure to treat those most important to you. No matter if it sheds, or bites, or wags its tail, we should all give each furry friend of ours a little bit of attention. 

Resources:

https://www.countryvet.net/post/benefits-of-reading-to-dogs.html

Columbus Pets Guide: Read to Cats - Lifestyle - Columbus       

https://www.petmd.com/dog/puppycenter/grooming/evr_dg_the_importance_of_grooming_your_puppy

https://www.pedigree.com/dog-care/health/the-serious-benefits-of-play