Valentine’s Day is the time of year for showing affection to those you love, and that includes your pets. While there may be another special someone with whom you wish to spend the day as well, remember that cats and dogs are constant companions who love you unconditionally. You should always show these wonderful creatures your gratitude and adoration, but Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to spoil them that you shouldn’t miss.
Here, James Wellbeloved looks at some fun activities you might enjoy with your dog or cat valentine to show your love for them on this special day.
For both cat and dog valentines, playing with their toys is doing something they enjoy and an obvious way to show them your love. As it’s Valentine’s Day, you could even consider getting them a new toy, rather than a cute card.
A gift doesn’t need to be extravagant for your pet to love it. For a cat valentine, this might be something as simple as a feather on a string. You can entertain your little furry friend for hours by getting them to chase and pounce after an elusive feather. Let them catch it occasionally though, so they don’t get frustrated.
For a canine companion, a great new toy could be a humble chew that you can throw, and they can bring back to you. The important thing to remember is that it’s the spending time with you that will make them most happy.
A stimulating activity for both cats and dogs, learning some tricks is a great way to spend time with each other. Obviously, they might not be able to master new tricks in one day, but Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to begin a new trick or spend some time practicing their current ones.
You’ll also need to treat them during training. Remember to avoid potentially harmful foods, such as chocolate for dogs. Instead, set aside a 10% portion of their daily feed and use this to treat them instead.
New clothes might not be the most exciting present to everyone, but there’s no better way to show your pet you love than by prioritising their safety. A comfortable collar and a tag with your details on it is crucial to this. Your cat or dog valentine should already be chipped, but a collar that tells people clearly who to call if they go missing adds an extra layer of security you shouldn’t go without. Beyond that, it allows your animal friend to proudly show who their owner is. Avoid putting their name on the collar though, particularly if your dog or cat is very friendly and likely to follow anyone who knows their name.
For those of you celebrating Valentine’s Day with a feline friend, try the slow blink. Cats communicate a lot with their eyes, despite them not liking prolonged direct eye-contact. When they are blinking slowly in the presence of another, this is an indicator of a cat’s contentment and comfort around that person or cat.
If you want your cat to slow blink at you, you must wait until they approach you and try to stay calm and relaxed. Then turn and slowly blink once in their general direction. Remember to avoid direct eye contact as this could signal aggression to them. It may not work immediately, but eventually your cat will slow blink back, indicating their affection for you.
So, there we have James Wellbeloved’s guide to spending Valentine’s Day with your pet. Most important is that you remember they will most likely be happy just spending time with you – the activity is secondary. Set some time aside for your cat or dog and show them love this Valentine’s Day.