What Dogs Think about Valentine’s Day

To be honest, dogs don’t think anything at all about Valentine’s Day. (Unless they happen to get into a heart-shaped box of chocolate candy. Then, Valentine’s Day ends with stomach cramps and a vet visit and takes on a completely different meaning.) In general, though, Valentine’s Day isn’t one of those holidays that dogs notice. Like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and Grandparents’ Day and Secretaries’ Day—and all those other days that someone invented to stimulate the economy—Valentine’s Day is just another day to most dogs.

Christmas, dogs notice. How could they not, when their humans start doing strange things like stringing sparkly lights and covering boxes with paper and curly ribbon then piling them under a tree they’ve brought into the house for some inexplicable reason. But a thinking dog has no trouble coming up with a plausible explanation: Christmas is the holiday when humans spend a month revering and celebrating cats. That’s why the humans bring in a climbing tree and decorate it with cat toys. That’s why they clutter up the house with strange objects they’ve covered with paper for the cats to sharpen their claws on, then devote hours one morning to unpacking the gifts of cardboard boxes for the cats to sleep and play in. Clearly, humans love their cats, because after they spend a month on the cat celebration, they spend another month cleaning up the mess.  Dogs aren’t stupid. They know that humans spend time and energy on the things they care about.

Thanksgiving, dogs notice. How could they not, when an entire day revolves around cooking and eating delicious food? Thanksgiving is the holiday in which humans try to eat themselves into a coma. A thinking dog might wonder whether Thanksgiving could be a holiday that celebrates dogs. But dogs with a high degree of intellect don’t think that for long. Because dogs only get tidbits and morsels (if anything) from a larger feast in which they aren’t invited to partake. While they may receive some small side benefits, dogs aren’t the reason for Thanksgiving, and most of them know it.

Halloween, dogs notice. Clearly, that’s the holiday when all humans go batsh!t crazy. What other explanation could there be for their humans dressing in strange and scary costumes, then dressing their dogs in the same way, then inviting a bunch of strange and scary costumed people to come over and laugh at the poor dogs who’ve done nothing wrong and can’t help being dressed in the ridiculous outfits their people have chosen? It’s no wonder that dogs bite people, because honestly, most people deserve to be bitten on a fairly regular basis. Thinking dogs could do without Halloween.

New Years’ and Fourth of July are the two holidays that can’t be ignored, hidden from, or forgotten. Those two days each year are when the world is about to end in a fiery conflagration of loud booms and flashing lights that persist late into the night. (It’s impossible to explain fireworks to a dog, especially when they make no sense to you either.) When morning comes, the dogs who made it through the night are happy to still be alive. The days immediately following those terrible nights are devoted to napping and giving thanks that they are still alive, because they are certain that other dogs who lived not so far away weren’t that lucky.

Don’t dogs deserve a major holiday that’s devoted to celebrating them? Cats have one, and they don’t even appreciate it!

I’m going to vote with dogs everywhere to make Valentine’s Day a dog’s holiday. Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, and who on this earth represents unconditional love more than a dog? Yes, yes, sure, your Significant Other should also get flowers, a special dinner, and (if appropriate) a long night of nookie. But shouldn’t Valentine’s Day primarily be a day of celebration for our most loyal and beloved companions who love and accept us every day of the year, even when our Significant Others don’t?

I hope you’ll vote with me and my dogs that while Valentine’s Day can remain a holiday in which we show love for our romantic partners, it should also be a special celebration for our very best Valentines, our dogs. I hope you’ll cast your vote and share the post so others in the know can cast their vote too.

Where do you stand on the issue of allowing dogs to share the joy of Valentine’s Day?

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Meanwhile, I’d like to share ten tiny tips of how to make this Valentine’s Day a special one for you and your dog.

  1. Sleep in late and snuggle your puppy under the covers until you and they both feel like waking up.
  2. Give your beloved puppy dog a pinched-off morsel from your breakfast biscuit. It’s no better for them than it is for you, but come on, it’s just a tiny bite, and it makes them so happy.
  3. Swing past Starbucks and get them a Puppicino. It’s just a squirt of whipped cream in a small cup, and it’s sure to give them diarrhea in about an hour, but hey, you have poop bags on hand, don’t you?
  4. Take your doggie for a nice long walk, and slow down enough to allow them to smell the roses (or any residual pee scent that remains on all upright surfaces).
  5. Take your doggie to the nearest pet store and let them lead the way. Do they want to look at the birds, commune with the cats, or sniff the treats? Let them choose one thing to take home. Maybe they need a new plush Lambchop squeaky toy.
  6. Make some dog-friendly treats they’ve never tried before (check out my recipe for Valentine’s Day Dog Treats by clicking here). If you have an air fryer, try dehydrating some pineapple slices. Or bake some bone-shaped pumpkin and oatmeal cookies. It’s good for them, and they’ll love it.
  7. Take your canine family member to a dog park. Even if you have a fenced backyard, it’s fun for dogs to roam around a new area and sniff new scents.
  8. Watch TV with them. Do they like sports? Or nature shows? Try a subscription for Dog TV. My dogs like it. (Although to be fair, the cats enjoy it even more.)
  9. Give your dog a bath, and finish with a brisk towel dry. Then video them while they zoom around, pleased to be clean and sweet-smelling.
  10. Tuck your dog into bed, kiss them on the nose, and tell them how much you love them.

It is, after all, their special day.


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