They’ve been constant companions throughout the year, offering you love and devotion through thick and thin. They’ve been by your side while you were down and out with a cold. They’ve stood by you when it felt like the world was falling apart. They’ve watched all of those movies with you, gone for all those walks and listened to all your worries.

So this Valentine’s Day, take a little time to show your pets you appreciate them!

For a very special treat, I propose a perfect pet day. While calling it a “date” would be more than a little awkward, the idea is to spend the day with your pet, doing what he loves and having fun together. Since pets have no real concept of human holidays, you could spend a Saturday or Sunday showing your pet that he’s appreciated without intruding on your own Valentine’s Day plans.

To prepare, identify three things that would just send your pet over the moon. Maybe he loves taking long runs in the country or enjoys sitting by your side while you browse the web. Maybe he enjoys heading to the pet store or just loves gnawing on her favorite toy, Mr. Squeakles. Perhaps there’s a person in your life that they just love to see, a place they love to be or a snack that they just go nutty for. Whatever it is that your pet loves, today is the day to indulge (a little) in fun for you both!

Set the plan in action. Start your morning by sleeping in. If your pet is an early riser, help encourage him to relax and unwind. Take a very leisurely walk and get “into” the day as slowly as you dare.

Spend the day doing the things you and your pet love. Offer lots of petting, kind words and praise throughout the day. Don’t overindulge your pet with treats or snuggles, and don’t feel let down if your pet wants some alone time! Remember – one of your pet’s favorite things is probably taking a long nap or staring out the window at passersby. Let your pet have his fun in his own way, as well. If you don’t get to everything on the list... who cares? It’s all about having fun, so just go with it.

Perhaps you’d like to give your pet a present. A new “jeweled” collar or a cute rain jacket will be a nice addition to your pet’s wardrobe. If you don’t accessorize your pet, a new bed or toy will always be welcome. If you’ve never given your pet a gift, it’s best to offer them the item, place it somewhere they’re used to playing or relaxing and letting them explore it at their own pace.

After dinner, cozy up with your pet, grab a blanket and watch a romantic comedy on Netflix. And make no apologies if you both doze off.

Posted on 2012-02-27 by Amanda Harper