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Celebrating Valentine’s Day and National Love Your Pet Day

Love is in the air! In February, animal lovers get two great days to focus on the special relationships they have with their pets — Valentine’s Day on February 14 and National Love Your Pet Day on February 20!

Want to show your pets how much you care and shower them with attention and love? Here are some great ways to pamper your pets on Valentine’s Day and National Love Your Pet Day (and any other day for that matter!).

Celebrating Valentine’s Day and National Love Your Pet Day

Stay Safe

Before you start thinking about how you’re going to show your pets the love, make sure the gifts you give the humans in your life aren’t harmful to the animals in your life.

While beautiful flowers are always a favorite on Valentine’s Day, pet owners are urged to take caution with roses or any other flowers containing thorns, which could be potentially harmful to pets if played with, bitten, stepped on, or swallowed. Also, many varieties of lilies are highly toxic to cats, so if these are your Valentine’s flower of choice, make sure your cats can’t get near them.

Chocolate is also a popular gift around this time of year. But this delectable treat is one that could make pets ill. Chocolates may contain fat and caffeine-like substances known as methylxanthines, which can potentially cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and even death in severe cases.

Another potential hazard is gum or candy sweetened with the sugar substitute xylitol, which can cause a fairly sudden drop in blood sugar (known as hypoglycemia), resulting in depression, loss of coordination, and seizures.

A Day of Fun

Whether you have a dog or a cat, there are several ways to enjoy a special Valentine’s Day or National Love Your Pet Day with your furry sweetheart.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Snuggle Time! Most dogs and cats want nothing more than a little quality time with their favorite person. Curl up on the couch and enjoy some snuggles, cuddles, and lots of TLC!

Just Be There. Your pets know when you are truly enjoying their companionship. Tune into your pet rather than the latest reality show. Put your schedule, your cell phone, and your worries aside, and enjoy some quality time with your furry friend.

Unwind With a Massage. Pets can get sore, stiff, and tense too. Strengthen your human-animal bond and bring relaxation to both your pet and yourself.

Bake Some Yummy, Homemade Treats. Healthy treats made with love make a great Valentine’s Day or National Love Your Pet Day gift!

Pet Pampering

If you’re like most dog or cat owners, nothing is too good for your pet. Unfortunately, your wallet is another matter. Even if you squeeze each dollar until it screams, there will always be another, more expensive way you can pamper Scruffy or Whiskers.

While many businesses in the United States are suffering from the downturn, the pet industry isn’t one of them. The U.S. market is a whopping $36 billion. For the well heeled among us, there’s no limit to the pampering our pets can indulge in.

Americans spend almost $500 million a year just on the latest in pet fashions — real cashmere sweaters, fleece jackets, stylish hats, rain gear, and the like. Brands such as Gucci are introducing their own brand of leashes and silver dog food bowls, for the discerning canine. If Gucci is passé, maybe a Salvatore Ferragamo leash is more your pet’s style — just $120.

Your beat-up, spring-infested lounge chair can’t compare with a $12,000 handmade Louis XVI-style bed from Harrod’s in the United Kingdom. It can’t even hold a candle to the more modest $500 doggie couches sold by Barker & Meowsky, the lawyerly sounding pet boutique in Chicago.

In Manhattan, the trendy Zitomer Z-Spot Three Dog Bakery offers a host of products and services that, well, could give you a heart attack, unless you happen to have seven or eight zeros in your annual income.

Resources for Celebrating Valentine’s Day and National Love Your Pet Day

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