Photo by grwepr Foter CC BYDoggy date night: How to include your dog in your Valentine's Day celebration
By Stacey McIntyre-Gonzalez
Love is in the air and dog owners across North America are spoiling their pooch with lavish Valentine’s Day gifts. The Feb. 14 celebration often means romantic dates for pet parents but what about the dogs? They stay at home lonely while you and your loved one enjoy time together. Speaking on behalf of the dogs in the world that just doesn’t seem fair. What if there was a way to have a romantic date with your significant other AND your furry family member?This list has creative and fun ways to include your canine companion in your Valentine festivities. Check out these dog friendly Valentine’s Day dates that will strengthen your bond with each family member- furry ones included!
Wine and dine with Fido by your sideDog friendly restaurants and coffee shops are rising in popularity. Although February isn’t really patio season in certain parts of North America some establishments are allowing dogs to dine inside the building. Restaurants may even offer a dog friendly meal but in most cases you will need to bring your pet’s food. Enjoy an intimate dinner with your loved one and your best friend and unleash your inner foodie. Check out this list of dog friendly restaurants in Canada and the United States on BringFido.com. And remember- no begging at the table!
Take a romantic hike through the forest Many Provincial and State parks allow leashed dogs on the hiking trails. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the romantic wilderness with your partner and your pet. For those in areas with snow you can rent snowshoes to heighten your experience. It is a healthy and inexpensive date idea. Grab your camera and try your hand at nature photography. On the way home you can stop for hot apple cider to warm up. Invite another couple to join you and ask them to bring their dog to make it a double doggy date! Check out the Provincial Park and the State Parks websites for rules and regulations regarding pets.
Dress up for a family photo shootTake a trip to your favorite outdoor location with your partner, furry family member and a photographer. Family photos with the pets are a fun and popular way to bond with your loved ones. You can get dressed up and even dress your dog up to match. If you need to leash an energetic dog ask the photographer if they can remove the leash from the photo digitally. If you can’t afford a photographer ask a friend or family member to shoot for you- even make it a double date! Paws For Reactionoffers pet photography services in Ontario.
Photo by greenkozi Foter CC BY-NC-NDTry out a new doggy activity classEnroll your dog in a new class for a Valentine date night. Forget regular old obedience classes and try something more fun. Many different breeds of dog excel at agility and the classes are often fun for the owners as well. Terriers really enjoy Earth dog trails- a course that allows the dog to weave through underground trails appealing to their prey instinct. Disc and Frisbee training is a lot of fun too. For those who are blessed with warm weather in February you may want to try dock diving with your dog. North American’s living in areas that have snow may enjoy dog sledding classes where their pet can learn to pull a sled. This activity is especially rewarding for working dogs.
Historical walking toursFind out if your town offers any historical walking tours. Many of these tours are dog friendly as long as the pet is leashed. Find out if there are any of these tours in your town that will allow a dog to join the group. These tours are very interesting and often inexpensive. For those not interested in historical tours you may want to try something spookier. Many haunted walks exist including the Haunted Ottawa Walk in Ontario. All you need is a few good scares to jump you into the embrace of your loved one- but don’t worry because your dog is there to protect you!
Enjoy a dog friendly overnightThe trend of pet friendly hotels is growing as more people treat their pets like family and not just like property. Find a quaint bed and breakfast just outside of town that allows dogs and disappear for a night. Not only will you be catered to at your lodge but you can also explore the town with your loved one and Fido. Find hiking trails and historical sites and make the most out of the trip. Bed and breakfasts in smaller towns are a cost effective alternative to staying in a fancy hotel however there are upscale dog friendly lodgings for those not on a budget. Check out BringFido.com to find a pet friendly lodging near you.
See a romantic movie at the drive-inDrive-in movies are a perfect way for a couple to snuggle up and enjoy the latest romantic movie. Why not bring your pooch along to share in the snuggles? Most drive-in theaters will allow a dog to come to the show so grab a couple blankets and some dog treats. Small dogs may especially like this date idea- larger breeds may have trouble getting comfortable in some vehicles. The best part about the drive-in is that if your pet needs to do his business you just open the car door and go for a little walk. Now THAT is dog friendly!
Join a charity walk or run
Get some exercise with your dog and significant other while giving back to a great cause. Most charity walk or run events will allow participants to bring their dog along for the fun as long as the pet is leashed. Make sure you sign up for the fundraiser before Valentine’s Day so you have enough time to raise money for the charity. You can even bring your dog along for the fundraising process! Don’t forget to bring extra water for your dog on any doggy date. Let Valentine’s Day inspire you to do something special with the one’s you love the most.