While many of us have chalked up Valentine’s Day as just another holiday concocted by the greeting card business, this doesn’t stop us from wanting to show our dogs that we appreciate what they do for us every day.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to let your pet know you care by giving him a gift he will not only love, but will also find useful. While roses and chocolates won’t work (and will do more harm than good!), you can still be creative with your doggie Valentine’s, without breaking the bank. Here are some fantastic Valentine’s Day gifts for dogs that do more than just pamper Fido, they keep him happy and balanced:
1. Mentally stimulating treat-release dog toys. You may think dogs love to sit around all day, but the truth is, they don’t. They need exercise and stimulation. If they don’t get these things, they may get restless, which oftentimes includes portraying some reckless behavior (such as chewing shoes, socks, door molding, cats). By getting your dog a mentally stimulating treat-release dog toy, such as a KONG, or a Clever K-9, you focus your dog’s attention on something other than Kitty.
2. A hiking backpack. And you thought you were the only one who could wear a hiking backpack? Not only can dogs get in on the action, but most of them love this added weight. Spring is just around the corner, and so is your ability to hike more often with your dog buddy. A hiking backpack for your dog gives him a job, which makes him focused and feel worthwhile. Also, it adds more weight to his body, tiring him out quicker, guaranteeing he’ll sleep soundly later on. Most of your local dog stores sell these backpacks, as does Brookstone, online.
3. Treat him with a treat. Before you run out and buy your dog a red-colored milkbone for this special occasion, just remember that a homecooked meal says I love you in ways that a boxed treat will never do. What, you’re not Julia Child? You don’t have to be. There are plenty of easy-to-make, healthy Valentine’s-themed dog treats you can create in your own kitchen.
4. Dress up your dog. By no means are we suggesting you buy your dog a Cupid outfit, but if you like dressing up your dog from time to time, why not get him (or her) a nice outfit. Doggie dresses are a great way to spice up your dog’s day. Doggie Vogue has a great array of choices.
5. When in doubt, go for the bling. Valentine’s Day and jewelry go hand-in-hand, and while you’re not about to buy your dog a diamond ring, there are other sparkly options for you. Diamond-studded collars are a popular choice, or, if you’re feeling creative, get your dog a collar adorned with their birthstone. Check out Poochie Heaven for more ideas.
When you want more than just a “thing” for a Valentine’s Day gift for your dog
Of course, there’s always one more idea you can go with for your dog’s ideal Valentine’s Day gift. Adopt a brother or sister for him! Animal shelters are often times packed with puppies and dogs who started out as surprise Christmas gifts, and ended up as family burdens. This is the perfect time to save a dog and give him a second chance at life. Contact your local animal shelter or veterinarian for more details.