Better than chocolate

Jamie and Mimsy

By Jamie Migdal, CEO of FetchFind

I found this nifty little graph of how much money the average person spent on their pet on Valentine’s Day from 2008-2016 (I love statistics!), and, as always, it got me to thinking about all of the extra special things that we buy to show our pets that we love them, and how many of the necessary things that we tend to put off when our lives get hectic.

So instead of giving you another top ten list on why pets are better than chocolate (though both pets and chocolate are good for your heart), here are some things you can do to show your pets that you love them all year round:

Schedule those annual check ups, vaccinations, and dental cleanings. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let these important appointments creep past their due dates because of my own overscheduled life.

Take your dog to the groomer. It’s easy to let this slide over the winter when you don’t want to deal with a damp dog and freezing temperatures, but you know your dog needs a bath and trim right about now. If you have a pup that doesn’t care to be touched, extra points for finding a low-stress groomer. 

Sign up for a class. It’s time to start instilling new behaviors (or brushing up on old ones) so that you can be ready for the warmer days, longer walks, and bigger crowds.  

Update your first aid and emergency evacuation kits. Everyone should have fully stocked first aid and evacuation kits. If you have the time, you can also take a pet first aid course.

Learn some relaxation protocols. For noise-sensitive or anxious dogs, spring thunderstorms can be pretty terrifying. Take your pup to a TTouch session, lay in a supply of Rescue Remedy, or – in extreme cases – schedule an appointment with a board-certified veterinary behaviorist.

Start researching pet resort or in-home pet sitting options. If you can find a company or sitter that you trust now, you won’t be scrambling for a reservation when you want to get away for a few days during spring break. 

Re-evaluate your pet’s diet and supplements. A dog’s nutritional needs can change rapidly as he gets older, and it makes sense to evaluate those needs regularly. Replenish the pet supplies, re-read the labels on the food, and make a note to discuss any changes with your vet during the appointment you scheduled after reading item #1, above.

Get those professional photos taken! Ask your friends who they used for their pet photos, or just google “professional pet photographers” and look for the pros in your area. A lot of pet photographers will hold day-long photo shoots on major holidays at local retail stores, so keep an eye out for those opportunities as well.

And, speaking of chocolate:

Bookmark the chocolate toxicity meter and poison control hotline info. Because some of our dogs like to have their own celebrations by getting into what’s left of that giant box of assorted chocolates we mistakenly thought was safe on top of the fridge.