No one wants to be left without a date on Valentine's Day, but you sure are fed up with the usual stress of scrambling for dinner reservations, coming up with a gift that'll blow her away, and getting all dolled up for some romantic escapade.
You and your dog preserve to be pampered a little, so how about making Valentine's Day more fun with your trusty canine buddy? Yes, you're better off spending your day with someone who appreciates whatever you have for them.
Your dog's affection for you is unconditional, and they'll love nothing else in this world than to be with you. They aren't judgmental, won't demand a fancy dinner, or ask for a crazy expensive bouquet!
Put the fun in your Valentine's date with your dog with these ideas:
1. Organize a picnic
Whether it's a nearby park or the backyard, the venue doesn't matter as long as you get to spend the day together. Pack your dog's favourite snacks; some extra doggie treats you can conveniently hand out to other dogs, and a comfy blanket to use.
There's nothing like watching the clouds drift away while enjoying each other's company under the warmth of the sun and the blue sky. It's not your typical Valentine's date, but your dog will love every minute of it.
2. Go on a shopping spree
Believe it or not, your dog will love spending the day with you exploring the aisles of a pet store. You may not know what to get at first since they already have most of the gear and toys they need. However, a new collar with a cute bone-shaped tag for ID purposes would be nice, as well as a beef-flavoured chew toy for longer chewing sessions.
You can also get them a new bed if they have been sleeping on the floor lately, or even some natural dog treats made with organic ingredients that your pooch can munch on while watching TV at night.
You won't be buying anything for yourself, but rest assured, the satisfaction of seeing your dog's happiness is worth more than a few baubles and an expensive dinner reservation.
3. Play a game of ball.
You don't get to play fetch very often with your dog for some reason. You can make up for a lost time by organizing a little pick-up game in the backyard or at the park nearby.
This one's different from a picnic date because you'll be both running around in the fresh air, allowing you to burn off some calories while having fun. You can even invite a few friends (and their dogs) over for this one.
4. Spend time at a dog-friendly cafe.
You're sure to find a dog-friendly cafe in the city, but you don't need to order the priciest items on the menu. What's important is that both of you get some quality time together.
Find a place with outdoor seating so that you keep your dog comfortable while you get your usual latte fix. This one's a great option to spend half of your Valentine's Day, but be sure your dog is well-behaved in a public setting.
5. Treat your dog (and yourself)
Did you know some fast-food chains and coffee shops offer doggie treats on their menus? If you haven't tried them, you better go out there and explore. Apart from ordering a treat for Fido, you'll satisfy your own calorie needs with some doughnuts and pastries. It's a win-win situation if you ask us.
6. Go for a dinner and movie combo at home
If you don't have time for a full-course meal or want to relax, you can always settle for a dinner treat at home after your dog gets tired out from all the outdoor shenanigans.
Head out to the supermarket and grab some ingredients to cook, including baking some doggie-friendly cupcakes. Truth be told, your furry friend won't mind Netflix as long as there's enough cuddling and treats involved.
7. Set up a photo booth in the living room
We're sure your dog is used to being photographed by now, so this one should be pretty easy. Prepare a few props and grab a selfie stick, then get down on the floor to let your dog pose for some movie-style shots together. You may never want to take down that photo strip.
8. Hold a doggie fashion show
If you've got clothes, costumes, and accessories for your dog, you can make it work as a fun wardrobe change on your special day together. Again, the important thing is to keep everyone comfortable while snapping shots of different outfits. You can always share those photos with your social networks.
Nothing compares to the feeling of being able to brag to your friends about your dog's good looks. In fact, it's more satisfying than the usual Valentine's dinner photo with the fancy food and flowers - such a cliche.
9. A beach day is a recipe for fun
If there's one thing that dogs love more than food, it has to be swimming. If you feel the need for a different environment for Valentine's Day, a quick trip to the beach should be just enough to put a smile on both of your faces.
Be sure to keep an eye on Fido when swimming, and never let him swim alone. While you're at it, don't forget to take a few selfies with your dog for the 'gram.
10. Get your dog a playmate
What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than pulling off a surprise? If Fido is lonely spending time with no one but you, consider getting another dog to be part of the family.
If you have the ideal environment for another adoption, then why not? Dogs are always happier if they have companions. It may be a serious decision, but it'll be a life-changing one for you and your dog. And while you're at it, why not name it "Valentine"?
You probably didn't think there were so many fun things to do as an alternative to the usual Valentine's Day routine. Having your dog as part of the experience means you're getting twice as much love on this special day.
Of course, you can always go on a romantic date with your partner, and we wouldn't want to take that away from you. However, there's nothing wrong with getting some quality time and attention for Fido on a day that celebrates love.