Love is in the air — are you ready to show it? If you’re looking for fun ways to spoil your soulful sidekick, you’ve come to the right place.
You won’t find chocolate on this list, obvi. No kissing booths either, only because we assume your dog or cat has that covered every day of the year. What you will discover is a list of Valentine’s Day activities and experiences for every cat, dog, and pet parent.
2023 is the year to date unconventionally after all. Whether you're single or paired up, you can make this holiday yours! And for pet parents, it's the perfect opportunity to spoil the loyal companions we share our lives with. They wiped your tears after that particularly bad Tinder date, remember? We owe it to them to show just how much we care.
From dog-themed dates to re-tail therapy, here’s how to show your pet you care:
Dig into some tasty treats
If you’re into baking or have a local bakery to visit, make sure to set aside some sweets for your soulful sidekick.
Whip up some homemade treats with heart-shaped themes, and make sure to have something delicious for you, too. Make extras of those treats and deliver them to the neighborhood dogs. (Get mom or dad’s permission first.)
Turn it into a game by putting catnip in a puzzle toy or freezing some peanut butter on a lick mat.
Invest in a cookbook for cats or a dog-treat maker.
Go on a date
If your curious copilot isn’t your only date, or if they’re willing to play matchmaker, take them out for a night on the town.
Make plans to double-date with a friend and their own dog or cat Valentine. Or bring them along to be your ‘wingman’ (wingdog?) for a budding romance — they’re pros at this.
Invite your dog’s best friends over for a Valentine's party with treats, toys, decor, and more.
Visit a dog-friendly coffee shop, bar, or maybe even a pup-friendly brewery or winery — they’re out there!
Indulge in some re-tail therapy
Take your pet out for a shopping spree or bring a wrapped gift home. Either way, they’ll love a special surprise.
Visit the pet store so they can pick out some new chew toys or one of these toys cats go crazy for.
Give them a special grooming session, complete with a fresh haircut. Better yet, elevate the experience and make it a full spa day. Did you know there are professional dog massages? You do now.
Take them to a pet psychic for a paw reading, to drool into a crystal ball, or to see into their furry future.
Splurge on luxe gifts that you’ll both love or get matching outfits, just because!
Look fetching and smile for the camera
It’s true — you can never have too many photos of you and your loyal companion. Make this holiday picture perfect with some cute Valentine's Day-themed photos.
Do a photoshoot with a professional photographer or snap some pics with your phone’s camera and a friend's help.
Make them an Insta or TikTok account — you know you want to.
Collect your favorite photos and get prints made, then have your pets help decorate a new picture frame with painted paw prints.
Take your playdate outside
From afternoon adventures to weekend getaways, celebrate with your shared love of the great outdoors.
Take them on a walk or hike, especially if it’s somewhere new that you both haven’t sniffed out yet.
Attend dog yoga or a dance class. Yes, they exist!
Go on a camping trip, a glamping va-cat-ion, or just a picnic in the (dog) park.
Take them on a road trip with the windows rolled down for maximum smelling potential.
Plan a special outing to a dog-friendly beach for some fun in the sun (and the water, too).
Spend some quality time at home
As the phrase goes, home is where the heart is. Whether it’s cold outside or you’re looking for some low-key ways to celebrate, these ideas are a fun time for all.
Teach your dog a new trick that warms your heart, like how to dance or give a high-five.
Find a cozy spot to hang out and cuddle. If they’re not usually allowed on the furniture, make an exception to the rule (and some room on the couch). Have a movie night with pet-themed classics like Lady and the Tramp or The Aristocats.
Play with a flirt toy. You can even make a DIY flirt pole!
Give your cat a new box. It’s that easy (IYKYK).
Your perfect match!
There's no wrong way to show your pets you love them, and they'll appreciate the quality time together no matter what. You know your pet best, so choose activities they enjoy the most. The ideas above are just a start – make it special and have fun!
Dylan M. Austin is a highly caffeinated writer and creator in Seattle. When offline, he's hanging out with his Chihuahua Terrier rescue, Will, and adding to his increasingly excessive houseplant collection.