There’s a relatively new term flying around and I LOVE it! The term is “pet parent”; not owner, or master (man I hate that one!), but parent. Many of you have probably heard it before, but I still run across pet lovers who haven’t, and I’m on a mission to change that. So what is a “pet parent” anyway. Well, to me, it’s a person who is responsible for raising a well mannered, socially adapted, emotionally confidant, and physically healthy animal of another species. I mean, that’s what parents do for their human children right? So isn’t the term fitting?
The thing I love about animals the most, is that it really doesn’t take much to impress them. Time, love, and treats, and you have a friend for life. Whatever lives in your house: cat, dog, bird, reptile; give your pet an awesome weekend and foster that unconditional friendship.
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Have you gotten your pet a gift yet? I’ll be honest, if I weren’t blogging this, I’d be putting mine together on the 13th, but luckily blogging keeps me from procrastinating… sometimes.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never gotten into the sweetheart part of Valentine’s Day, I even faked sick Valentine’s Day of my senior year so I could avoid my boyfriend; true story. However, when it comes to spoiling my pets with treats, toys, and extra cuddles; that’s my happy place, and Valentine’s Day is another excuse to do just that.
Whether or not you’re into the romance part of February 14th there are so many ways you can include your pets in the holiday to make sure they have a great day too.
Put a Valentine’s Day gift basket together
Creating the perfect gift basket for each of your pets is so easy, and it is way less expensive than the one you’ll put together for your date (unless you splurge on a diamond collar, which I totally understand). As with any gift, when putting a gift together for my pets I think about three things: What do they like, what do they need, and how can I personalize it. Treats are always a staple, no matter what type of pet you have you can’t go wrong including some of their favorite food. New toys are also a must. Getting new toys helps keep your pet’s mind active and stimulated, and with the holiday coming up there will be some super cute options. Accessories! I can’t say enough about pet accessories: necklaces, collar charms, bows, sweaters, dresses. I could just load up the basket with accessories.
Take extra time for cuddles
Valentine’s Day is all about love, so don’t forget to give your pets more than enough. Bonding is such an important part of building a strong relationship with your pets, and it’s amazing how much a little bonding time with an animal can improve your morale. How many times have you turned to your pets after a bad day for an extra cuddle? And just think about how quickly a wet kiss can turn around a frown, or those tickly little snake kisses, I love those! When I was at work I would often go hold the snakes or talk to the turtles whenever I got frustrated. I’d just say “I’m socializing the animals” to pretend I was still working. But bonding time is as good for your pets as it is for you, and it’s probably the best gift you can give them for any holiday.
- Take an extra ten minutes during your walk or play time
- Lie on the floor with them (or your bed) and snuggle up
- Take your pet on an outing. The pet store, or the park, are great places to start
If your valentine date is worth keeping they will be thrilled to have a furry friend along for the date. Your pet will enjoy spending the evening with company and you can explore places you may have never visited. There are a surprising amount of places that allow pets, but when in doubt always make a phone call first. Take a look at these pet friendly date ideas.
- Restaurants with outside seating. Many restaurants with outside seating will allow leashed dogs at the table. Sometimes they will even provide bowls of water.
- Community Events. Is a park near you hosting a community Valentine’s event? These are not only fun, but almost always pet friendly! Sip hot chocolate, browse the vendors, and enjoy the entertainment. And it will definitely be more fun with your pet alongside. Just don’t forget to take some water and treats along.
- Drive in Theater. When was the last time you went to one of these? And yes, they do still exist. Going to a drive in is such a fun and vintage idea, and almost all of them are pet friendly.
There’s no rule that says you have to go out on Valentine’s Day. Ask your sweetheart to stay in. Cook dinner together or order out. While you’re in the kitchen spoil your pets with some safe scraps or cook up a dinner just for them. Set the table for three and enjoy. When dinner’s done go for a walk or stay in for a board game. And while you’re busy playing Uno, or a more Valentine’s Day themed game ;), give your pet a treat puzzle or a new toy to play with.
Do you have any more great ideas for including your pets on Valentine’s day? I’d love to hear about them.
When I was a kid I used to love the show Wild Thornberrys. I loved it mostly because the little girl, Eliza, could talk to animals (It’s also one of the reasons I like Sofia the First). I think if I could have any magic power, talking to animals would be it. Not only could I have a conversation with any dog, but I could also tell that lizard in the wall “I don’t want to eat you. Just climb on my hand and I’ll put you back outside.” Wouldn’t life be wonderful?
I don’t think I’ll ever have that power, but fortunately, there are a few phrases that can make it across the language barrier and “I love you” is one of them. So, how do you tap into your interspecies language skills and tell any pet how much you love them? It’s easy.
If you’ve ever adopted an abused pet, you know how hard it can be to earn their trust. Some respond with fear, others with aggression and knowing what to do and how to handle the different responses can be a hard road of trial and error. But, the sooner you figure it out, the sooner you and your pet can enjoy life together.
Finding time to play with your pets can seem like a daunting task, especially when you have a high energy pet and a busy life, but it’s not impossible. Finding time to play is one of the best ways to bond with your pet, really, even more than feeding (even though my cat might say otherwise), and for those of us who adore our pets, there is nothing more important than keeping that relationship strong. So how do you fit in some good play time, and still get everything else done?
So today is officially the first day of fall! My favorite season!! I love the colors, the clothes, and pumpkin flavored everything! But the thing I love most about fall is going outside. The smothering heat is finally giving way to light breezes, and even in Florida we’re getting cool-ish mornings, and I can’t think of a better way to spend a day out than with my favorite pets. Sometimes it’s hard to think of something to do with your pet, but the good news is, it doesn’t take much to impress him. If you have a social pet, chances are she will just love being included. Here’s some ideas of things you can do with your pet this fall to get out and enjoy the weather.