If you’re like us, it’s probably Love Your Pet Day every day at your home! But February 20 is a special chance to celebrate our cats and dogs.
They aren’t just our best friends and beloved family. Our furry friends actually have an incredibly positive impact on our lives. In fact, 92% of pet parents say their relationship with their pets improved their mental and physical wellbeing in the last three years – providing companionship (77%), emotional support (70%), a sense of purpose (52%) and a reason to exercise (31%).
So, more than ever, we’re ready to celebrate Love Your Pet Day with some special fun for our best friends. Here are ideas to plan your day…
1. Enjoy an adventure
Take your dog for a fun, long walk. Walking gives dogs physical exercise, socialization and mental stimulation as they see (and sniff!) all the new things you encounter. For cats, make it an inside adventure using a toy to encourage a game of chase and running around an “agility course” in your house.
2. Give a (healthy) treat
Celebrate the day with your dog or cat’s favorite treat. Just be sure to treat responsibly to avoid joining the epidemic of pet obesity. Give only the recommended amount and choose treats made for pets – no sneaking human foods, which can be unhealthy and add excessive calories. Here are more tips to help.
3. Take a drive
If your pet is one of the millions who enjoy car rides, consider a fun day trip. Use this link to get all the info you need to plan a safe and fun road trip with your best friend by your side.
4. Keep them safe
If you’ve been putting off getting a microchip or getting an ID tag for your pet’s collar, make it a priority on Love Your Pet Day. The American Veterinary Medical Association says microchipped dogs are twice as likely to be returned to their owners when lost. Microchipped cats are 20 times as likely to get home!
5. Have a spa day
Just like people, pets need regular grooming, including hair-brushing, teeth-cleaning and nail-trimming. You can make the grooming on Love Your Pet Day a special treat with extra time spent on whatever your pet enjoys most – for example, a bath or a luxurious half hour of brushing. You can even add a cool new collar or pretty hair bow when you’re done, if your pet agrees.
6. Help other pets
You’ll make the day purrfect for your pet, but don’t forget the many dogs and cats who are at shelters across the country waiting for a home. If you have room in yours, you could foster or adopt! If you don’t, consider whether you can volunteer or donate to help end pet homelessness. There are many great organizations working to help pets find loving homes, and they could really use your support.