For Valentine's Day (and every day!), Dr. Plantz suggests how we can bring the love...

With Valentine’s Day coming up, we all like to show our dogs how much we love them.  We don’t have to buy new toys or give them calorie- rich treats, though.  Here are some ways to show your dog how much you love him without adding unneeded calories or breaking the bank:
**Take off her collar and spend a few minutes scratching her fur and skin where her collar normally sits.  She will love getting scratched in an area that doesn’t normally get any attention.Be MineBe Mine
**If your dog shows interest in the TV, rent some movies with nature animal themes (maybe wolves).  Turn the volume up, sit on the floor with her, and see how she responds to various animal noises and images.
**Try dancing with your dog.  Turn on a fun song, put your dog’s paws on your waist and dance away!  
**If your dog likes car rides, take him for a long car ride in the country with the window part way down so he can smell all the good scents of the country.
**When your family exchanges Valentines, wrap up one of your dog’s toys and let her unwrap it with the family.  She will feel included and probably find new joy in an old toy.
**If your dog likes ice cubes, add a little chicken or beef stock to the water and make delicious, low calorie treats.  You can also drop one kernel of his food into each compartment.  As your dog licks the ice cube, he will eventually get a tasty surprise.
**Speak to your dog through an empty paper towel tube.  Your voice will sound funny to her and will get her excited
**Give your dog a massage.  When he is laying down relaxed, rub his back, legs and head.  He will enjoy the feeling as much as we enjoy our massages.
**Play hide and seek with your dog.  Distract her, then run and hide.  See how long it takes her to find you (try places like a closet or the bath tub).   When she finds you, give her a lot of praise.

For more ideas on how to show your dog how much you love him, check out the book “97 ways to make a Dog Smile” by Jenny Langbehn


Photo credit: © mdorottya -

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