*A guest post by Kamira Gayle, Author & Creator of Impurrfectlife.com –A blog about finding healing after pet loss through inspiration and art!
Ah Valentine’s day! A day when you can tell love is in the air, see people holding hands and the town painted in red hearts. February 14th happens to be a day that people around the world make a little extra effort to show each other how much they care and appreciate their loved ones. How did Valentines Day recognition come about?
According to History.com, “Each year [around the world] on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia.”
Well regardless of how this day came about, I’m sure you are reading this post because you are interested in ways to take part and celebrate this special occasion with your furry family members right? Why not?! Our pets are part of the family and they should partake in the fun. If there is one being we definitely know exudes unconditional love to us all, it is that of our beloved pets, past and present. So, without further ado, today I’ll share 10 ways to celebrate Valentines Day with your pet.
10 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with your Pet
1. Have a pet portrait or photoshoot
One of the first ideas that comes to mine when celebrating love is having lasting memories. With that in mind. Take a moment to capture the love and the bond with your pet and the family with a pet portrait or a pet /family photo shoot. You can find a few retailers like JCPenney’s that take part in pet photo shoots. Or if you prefer a photographer that is not in a mall and specializes in pet photography in your area. As with anything you are looking to invest in, do your research and check reviews thoroughly. You may even want to check and get a personal referral from a neighbor or family friend.
If you are short on funds or just looking to save money, be your own photographer! If you have a camera phone or digital camera, don’t hesitate to, take a few pointers from a pet photographer and have a pet photoshoot at home.
Lastly, as an alternative, to a photo session, look into having a pet portrait done of your pet. There are services available online where you can submit a photo of your pet and have a custom drawing or pet portrait created from that photo. It’s a great way to capture the love and memories shared with your pet.
2. Bake your favourite pet treats
A second way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your furry family member is to spend time in the kitchen. Are you a fan of baking? Cooking? Take time to bake your own favourite treat and also your pet’s favourite treat. If you are looking for some inspiration, you can find a plethora of ideas for baking treats for your pets on Pinterest. For those of you that are not fond of baking or don’t cook anyway, check out my next tip.
3. Create a Gift Basket of goodies
Another clever way to spoil your pet is be creating your gift basket of goodies and treats for them. You can create your own gift basket of their favourite cat treats or doggie bones. Combine this with a few toys you know they will like as well as some necessities, like Valentines themed clothes/accessories. How about a heart sweater or heart collar for your pet? Anything you think that would brighten up their day and show you care include in your gift basket of goodies. This is yet another clever creative and personalised way to share the love with your pet on February 14th.
4. Playdate or Playtime
What better way to spend time with your pet than to have some play time together. Or better yet, have a play-date with a few friends! You can organise and create the perfect play date. Whether that means inviting friends over for a Valentine’s Day pet-friendly party or meeting up at the dog park for a play date, this is the perfect opportunity to have your pets engage, socialise and have fun.
Feel free to get into the spirit of the occasion and decorate your home in red or heart themed décor. You can make the play-date customised the way you want.
5. Shop for new pet items
Who does not like new stuff? Even our pets like something new now and again. Even if they have their favourite toy or blanket, a new toy or new bed always sparks some intrigue! Take the opportunity to spoil them a little bit and buy some new essentials.
How about a new pet bed? Or perhaps a heart-themed red collar for the occasion. Are you looking to attend a party or take some cool photos? Well your furry friend is going to need a new outfit. How about a new bow tie or a new sweater so they will look their best! Or when all else fails, new toys never hurt nobody right?
6. Take a day trip/Weekend getaway
With the daily hustle and bustle of life it is easy to feel like you never have a moment to chill out. If you are a busy working person, your furry family member can sense your stress levels too. Why not take this opportunity to take a day trip or a weekend trip out of town? Even if it’s a stay-cation, close to home, take a night to getaway and relax. There are many pet friendly hotels and destinations to accommodate guests. If you are looking for ideas, check out these bucket list ideas to try with your pet.
7. Spa Day/Massage
If travelling is not in the budget or not quite your cup of tea. How about stay in town and relax. Show yourself and your dog some love with a spa day! One of the pet trends that continue to grow in 2018 are concierge services for our pets. This includes services such as doggie day care and spa like services, including grooming and massages. So why not treat yourself and get a little pampering in your life? While Fluffy is at the groomers, treat yourself to a massage at a spa. When you both are finished you can return home looking and feeling refreshed. And this leads me to the next idea.
8. Spend quality time at home with your pet
Valentines day is a worldwide day that we take a moment to show people and our pets we love and care. However, really and truly we should take time each and everyday to do so. Our pets give us unconditional love and they don’t care how we look or how much we have in our wallets. All they really desire is to spend quality time with us and bond. So, this goes without saying that spending quality time is the greatest gift we as pet parents can give our fur kids. Even if you forgo all these other ideas, the simplest most precious thing you can give your pet is to bond with them and give your love and your time. That’s truly priceless.
9. Volunteer at a shelter
Let’s not forget the animals in shelters! This Valentine’s Day remember those animals that do not have a home to go to. If you have a pet or currently don’t have a pet, consider taking time out of your day to show another animal love still exists in this world and volunteer your time and energy to help out at your local shelter.
They say sometimes it just takes a smile or a kind word to change a person’s life. Well I believe that the same can be said for animals in shelters; especially neglected and abused animals. Never negate the power of the human touch or of a kind heart. It’s the little things that mean so much to another being. Animals give so much and yet ask for so little in return.
So, consider dedicating a part of your day to help out another this season. You’ll be so glad you did. There is no better fulfilling feeling than knowing what you did to help, assisted in brightening their day.
10. Adopt and Save a life
Last but not least, on that same note. If you have the means and the ability to do so, share the love you have to give and save a life. Adopt a furry family member!
*Just a note of advice; be sure you have thought this decision through in advance carefully and consider the impact on your life. Adopting a pet is not a decision to be made rashly. Consider things like expenses, care, environment, vet costs, size of pet, long term care and ability to integrate into your existing family life at home with other pets. Adopting a pet is a lifelong commitment.*
There is no greater gift than that of love. Save a life and adopt from your local shelter or if you cannot do so, consider fostering a pet. There are plenty of good reasons to foster a pet if you are not in the position to adopt now. Either way you help to save an animal’s life by getting them out of the shelter and into a home and avoid being euthanized. What better way to say I love you this Valentine’s day than to start a fresh new chapter with a new love.
Those are 10 Ways to Celebrate Valentines Day with your Pet this year! Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day? Have you tried any of these ideas before? What ideas would you add? Share your thoughts and comment below.
Kamira Gayle is the creator and author of Impurrfectlife.com –A blog about finding healing after pet loss through inspiration and art! Sharing her life experiences dealing with life after pet loss in an effort to help others find healing too.