Pets Make the Very Best Valentines!

 
Always generous with their unconditional love, pets make the very best Valentines! So this year, whether or not there’s a human love interest in your life, why not take a moment to give Fido and/or Fluffy a token of your affection? Doing so will surely warm your heart! We asked Julia Szabo, a.k.a. Pet Reporter >^..^< for grrromantic gift ideas that will warm every pet’s heart. Read more about Julia here and follow her on twitter @PetReporter1.

 * Keeping K9s Kissable – What’s Valentine’s Day without a kiss from Spot, or a dozen? Pets give the sweetest kisses! Too often, however, the sorry state of a pets’ mouth makes kissing them (and being kissed by them) downright unthinkable. Remember, pets can’t  brush their own teeth – we humans owe it to them to keep their choppers clean and their breath fresh. Thankfully, this is easy with Breathless Brushless Toothpaste by Ark Naturals, toothsome treats dogs (and some cats)  love. [ www.arknaturals.com ]

* Gift Your K9 Valentine – Dogs love us, of course, but what they really love most is a good chew session with a satisfying toy. Captivate your K9 – and keep his canines good and busy! – with the Yuppie Puppy Marrow Chew by Sporn. It’s a durable “bone” made of nylon that’s split down the middle and souped up with a tasty tunnel of jerky filling. This combination is irresistible to dogs, and will keep Spot’s paws and jaws gainfully occupied for hours at a time! [ www.sporn.com ]

* A Dog’s Dream Home-Away-From-Home – And speaking of Sporn (above), inventor-entrepreneur Joe Sporn happens to be the Daddy of Doggie Daycare; he opened Yuppie Puppy, America’s first dog daycare center, in New York City in 1986. This Spring, Yuppie Puppy will unveil its brand new location in midtown Manhattan, and already the buzz has it that a stay here – whether one day of aerobic play, or a few fun-filled days and restful nights – is the ultimate Valentine for your pampered pup. For details on this fab facility, and to receive a coupon redeemable for daycare, boarding, grooming, and/or retail services, email info@yuppiepuppy.com

* A Grrreat Read – Sometimes reading a book about another person’s love story with his/her dog can inspire one to see and appreciate one’s own best furry friend in a whole new light. Martin Kihn’s “Bad Dog: A Love Story” (Pantheon) is just such a book. It’s the true tale of how undertaking advanced behavior training with Hola, his badly-behaved Bernese Mountain Dog, helped turn the high-functioning alcoholic author’s life around – and it’s told in an unforgettably wry voice that will have you laughing until you cry.

* Bow-Wow Bedding – Dogs adore a good snooze session on a comfy bed, so provide them with the plushest: a dog bed by Crypton. Artist William Wegman has designed an entire collection of punchy, pop-art patterns that are funny valentines to cuddly canines. More important, these stylin’, stain-proof sleeping nests keep their shape (and their good looks) for years, and they’re a cinch to machine-wash. [ www.cryptonfabric.com ]

* Up To Sniff – Nothing wrecks a romantic atmosphere faster than unwanted pet odors. If you’re hosting your human Valentine at your animal house, make sure your home is “up to sniff.” Naturally scented soy candles by Munio Candela [ www.muniocandela.com ] are just the ticket for setting a romantic mood; just be sure to place them high out of Spot’s reach, and avoid paraffin candles (they emit noxious fumes that are highly irritating to pets’ pipes). Also, arm yourself with the best stain and odor remover: Get Serious. This non-toxic formula works to completely remove the ingredient of pet stains that compels pets to return to the scene of the crime – the pheromone – and it’s suitable for use on carpets, upholstery, floors, anywhere Spot left a spot. [ www.getseriousproducts.net ]

* Dog Lovers Heart Art – A custom pet portrait is a Valentine that keeps on giving year-round, reminding you of the unconditional bond you share with your best furry friend. Portrait painter Heather LaHaise [www.heatherlahaise.com]

 

Our Star Expert

 

Julia Szabo is nationally recognized as the authority on living and traveling stylishly with pets. Her expert commentary has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Post, Travel + Leisure, Country Living, Real Simple, Family Circle, and Cesar’s Way, among many others, and she’s a frequent guest of “Morning Living” on Sirius Radio’s Martha Stewart Channel. The author of six lifestyle books, including the acclaimed “Animal House Style” and “Pretty Pet-Friendly,” she produces the daily “Living With Dogs” column for Dogster.com and Traditional Home’s monthly “Star Style” column, a feature about design and the zodiac. She lives in New York City with her family of rescued dogs and cats, including Lazarus the pit bull (pictured). Follow her on Twitter@PetReporter1

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