Valentine’s Day is a day filled with displays of affection, declarations of love and outbursts of happiness. Why not show your pet how much you love them, too?
Even when avoiding the obvious health risks such as chocolate and sweets, there are many ways in which you could make your pet feel extra special. In a world where the workplace is fast-paced and time is of the essence, it is easy to forget that our furry companions need just as much care and attention as anyone else.
They are often the first ones to greet us enthusiastically in the mornings, and the ones waiting for us when we get home – yet they are so often overlooked when it comes to Valentine’s Day.
Here are five ways to show your pet you truly love them.
Snuggle up with your dog or cat on the sofa with a warm, cosy blanket. You could even allow them on your bed (just this one time!) for some extra cosy snuggles as a treat for your beloved fur baby. Dogs, especially, will love the extra attention so much you might not get them to leave! If your cat is the snuggly type, they will definitely appreciate a warm blanket and some soft pillows, as well as some extra TLC from their pet parent.
You are the centre of your pet’s world. Many dogs demand attention in the form of running and licking, however cats usually come to you in their own time. When your cat shows you attention, it is important to talk to your feline friend to reciprocate their affection. Similarly, allowing your cat to perform their cheek-rub can be a great way of building up trust between you and your cat. By holding out your index finger at the cat’s eye level, it is a simple way of informing your cat that you want to be marked.
Dogs will appreciate that extra 5 minutes spent playing with them, so give them a bit of extra fuss, belly rubs, ear scratches and maybe a healthy treat or two?
Through stimulating your pet mentally or physically exercising them, training can be one of the best ways of building up trust and discipline with your pet.
Teaching a dog (or even cat) a trick is best done in intervals of 10-15 minutes a few times a day, with small rewards at the end of each one.
Positive reinforcement when teaching your dog a trick is a great way of communicating your love, and your pet will see you as the provider of their favourite treats.
Most pets love to be brushed (or hoovered - depending on the dog), as it gives them attention and physical affection. Brushing removes dead hair, dirt and other debris and can even feel like a massage if you use the correct tools.
Even if your pets may not appreciate being groomed initially, they will appreciate having clean teeth and fur in the long run. Getting their nails cut could prevent pain when they walk, and bathing them could prevent itchiness caused by rolling in dirt.
If you would like to speak to your vet in greater detail about how you could show your pet you love them, contact your local Medivet practice. They will be able to offer you unique advice and are passionate about hearing what you have to say.