By Diane Levitan, VMD, veterinarian, and member of the Wag! Advisory Board
It’s no surprise Americans spent $751 million on their pets last Valentine’s Day. There is nothing like puppy love to make pet parents open their wallets. So this February 14, here are my suggestions to pamper your pooch and show your love.
Take your pet to the spa
Not only will your dog have a day of relaxation, but getting regular nail trims and baths is good for your pet’s health. To go the extra mile this February, some spas even offer dog massages and pedicures.
I also love the idea of spending quality time with your dog by creating a spa day for them at home. There are some great YouTube videos that can teach you how to do a doggy massage yourself. You can also find companies that sell dog-specific massage rollers. Taking time out of your day to spoil pets with such one-on-one pampering will show them how much you love them.
Bond with your dog on a special hike or trip
Nothing says “I love you” more than a day outside for dogs. Find a pet-friendly park or hike or take pets for a walk near the water. Yes, long walks on the beach aren’t just for people! For an extra special gift, you can treat your pet to regular walks by hiring a dog-walking service like Wag! This provides quality social time and exercise they might not otherwise receive.
Get a pet subscription box
While the ring of the doorbell or sound of the mailman can drive some dogs crazy, you can turn this into an opportunity for positive reinforcement — with a delivery just for dogs. There are so many monthly subscription options for pets, like BarkBox, that send treats, toys, and chews right to your front door. A new box of surprises every month — now that’s true love!
Give your dog sweet dreams
A good dog bed isn’t for just comfort. Ensuring pets have a high-quality bed can help solve orthopedic problems or even help prevent future issues. Depending on your dog’s needs and age, look for a high-quality memory foam bed, a heated bed great for older arthritic dogs, or a snuggly option that will ensure pets get the rest they need.
Special treats make tails wag
Just like humans get chocolates on Valentine’s Day, giving your pet a special treat is a great way to show them some TLC. Just remember, too much human food is not good for them in the long run. It can make them overweight and, as a result, more susceptible to injuries or illnesses. And be sure to keep the chocolates to yourself, as it is poisonous for dogs. Instead, spoil dogs with a Kong filled with peanut butter or an all-natural bully stick that will keep your pets mentally stimulated and physically occupied for hours. This Bully Buddy from Bow Wow Labs is a great option to ensure dogs chomp safely.
Pet insurance — for your dog and your pocketbook
While dogs may not directly feel the effects, health insurance for your pet may be the best gift you can give. Pet owners who have insurance are more likely to seek medical attention when needed and more able to give their pets the best possible care. As a vet of 27 years, getting pet insurance is the most important advice I can give. Research the best company for you and your pet, and don’t let February pass by without showing your love in this way.
Happy Valentine's Day to you and your furry loved ones!