Caitlin UltimoPet Lovers / Pet Parenting

9 Ways to Show Your Dog Love

Valentine’s Day is here, and you know what that means. Snuggle sessions on the couch, gazing into each other’s eyes, sloppy kisses, and knowing that you finally found The One. Your latest love interest? Oh, sure … but we were thinking of the other love of your life—your precious poochie. Although it’s hard to imagine any Valentine’s Day gift that will match your fur baby’s fervent, lifelong loyalty, you can start with these thoughtful ways to show your little sweetheart you’re smitten.

1. Elevate a daily necessity. Pick up a heart-shaped ice cube tray and drop a few tokens of your love into your dog’s water bowl before you go to work. She’ll enjoy a nice cool drink while you’re away. Or you can go all out and upgrade her standard bowl to a pet fountain that will keep her drinking water aerated, filtered and fresh. If your dog doesn’t seem to like the taste of your tap water, the Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain can go a long way toward upping her water intake for pet health.

2. Take an extra-long walk. Instead of turning back around as soon she’s finished her business, keep going and explore new territory together. Let her sniff all she wants. And if you really want to win her heart, let her roll around in that spot you usually pull her away from. Yes, she’ll need a bath when you get home, but consider it a labor of love.

3. Dress her for the weather. What better time to pick up a new (red!) coat to keep your cutie cozy as winter winds down? Bonus: you’ll probably find great prices now. Consider picking up a two-layer style that snaps apart. The lighter, waterproof shell will be ideal for spring showers.

4. Treat her to a spa day. No, really. If you’ve never tried a doggy day spa, you’ll probably be surprised to find at least one in your area. Sometimes they double as doggy daycares or overnight hotels, but the mission is the same: pampering that pooch! Drop her off for a shampoo, grooming and a mani/pedi. Some even do massages! For an alternative low-budget option, spoil her at home with a nice doggie massage and grooming session.

5. Treat her to, well, a treat. Dog treats are a low-cost, can’t fail delight, especially if you select a flavor or texture that’s not the same old treat she’s used to. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats Salmon Biscuits Grain-Free Dog Treats definitely fit the bill and are great for dog nutrition, too. Just remember: a heart-shaped box of candy may be a treat to you, but chocolate is toxic to dogs. Keep it well out of your dog’s reach.

6. Then, turn the treats into a game. Yummy doggy delicacies and extra playtime? You’ll win her heart for sure with some fun dog supplies. Find a dog toy that hides treats inside, so your dog has to use her noodle to get them. Two popular options are the KONG Classic Dog Toy and Outward Hound Paw Hide Puzzle Dog Toy.

7. A trip to the dog park. How many times have you passed it by, thinking, “We really should go one of these days”? Today’s the day. And if a car ride is involved, the outing will be an extra thrill. Bring along a toy that’s perfect for the outdoors, such as the Chuckit! Classic Launcher.

8. Brush her teeth. It’s something else that’s easy to put off, but it really is a gift to your dog if you jump in and make it a habit. Canine tooth decay can cause many other pet health problems. In between brushings, keep tartar at bay with Greenies Regular Dental Dog Treats. It even freshens his breath—all the better to lick you with.

9. Stay in for the night. Instead of dining out, make it a point to stay in with your furry friend. Your pup will surely enjoy getting to spend a little extra time with you—and that really is the best gift of all!