Those of us with fur babies know that our love for our pets is immeasurable. They are our constant companions, our trusted confidantes, our workout partners, playmates, snuggle buddies and oftentimes our best friends. It’s no wonder we want to treat – and dog treat! – them to the best of everything, especially as Valentine's day approaches. So whether you succumb to dog devotion, feline fervor, or some other pet passion, let’s delve a little deeper into our love of animals and look at some fun and healthy ways to show our pets love on Valentine’s Day and every day.
Pet Love…by the Numbers
Over 88 million households in the US own pets, including an incredible 65 million dog owners! According to Forbes, 66% of 2024 US households own pets, up from 56% in 1988. Dogs lead the way, followed by cats at 46.5 million, and more than 35% of Americans have more than one pet. As such, the following statistic probably won’t surprise you: while virtually all owners say pets are part of the family, over half of pet owners consider their pets to be as much a part of their family as their human relatives. And pet spending? It’s rising, especially with Gen Z, for items like training, doggy daycare, dog gifts, and parties. Move over, Uncle Chuck – not only is Fido coming to dinner, but he’s also the guest of honor!
The Pet-Human Bond
Numbers don’t lie – we certainly love our pets. We even feature our team’s fur friends on our website! But what about the why? While domestication and animal involvement with humans began with the animal providing a service such as retrieving, protecting, or varmint extermination in exchange for some level of shelter and nourishment, the pet-human relationship has evolved from the transactional to the emotional. Sure, we use pet treats to train and elicit specific behavior, but you can tell from the look in his or her eyes and the wag of his tail that a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ear from a dog’s beloved parent is truly his utmost reward – and vice versa.
Psychologists have found that our love of pets is indeed similar to the love we feel for our own children. Like babies, animals prompt in us a desire to nurture and protect, as well as a release of oxytocin – the feel-good hormone that makes us feel calm, loving, and happy. Likewise, pets and specifically dogs, have grown to thrive on and seek our company, attention, praise, and affection. In fact, studies have found that dogs and cats both get a surge of oxytocin from being petted by their owners and actually prefer the company of humans to others of their own species. In return, we get the unconditional love, unspoken connection, and emotional security humans long for in relationships – not to mention lower blood pressure, less incidence of depression, and better overall physical and mental health than those without pets. Not only does this sound like the definition of a win-win situation, it certainly suggests that pet-human love is a two-way street. But we already knew that, didn’t we?
Show Your Pet Love…with Healthy Dog Treats
Given all we get from our pet-human love fest, it’s only natural that we want to reward them. After all, you really can’t “spoil” a pet. However, you can overindulge them in things that make them happy, like certain foods or chew toys, that might not actually be good for them. The key is to treat them in healthy ways. One way to do so is to offer dog gifts like toys or blankets, simply go on a little walk, or provide some extra play time at home. Nothing makes a pup happier than time with you…and maybe a tasty treat or two!
Single-Ingredient Dog Treats
Luckily, we at Farm to Pet are all about healthy treats and chews, the perfect reward for your “furever” Valentine! We even created a special Valentine Dog Treat Bundle containing two varieties of the same delicious treats your canine crush loves all year long, but with adorable packaging and exclusive savings you’re sure to fall in love with! One bag each of our original chicken and turkey pet treats in heart-themed resealable pouches ensures you’re treating your doggo to pure, one-ingredient protein, simple to digest, and appealing to even the pickiest pup. Similarly, you might choose to sprinkle some of this tasty goodness on your dog’s food with our Treat Toppers – the same human-grade poultry proteins, just in powder form.
Homemade Dog Treats
Another fun and rewarding way to treat your pooch is to make your own – treats, that is! Our good friends at “It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken” were kind enough to share this simple and delicious recipe for homemade dog biscuits. Just mix a cup of oat flour (more as needed for desired consistency) with two medium-sized ripe bananas and a half cup of natural creamy peanut butter. Roll out and cut into shapes – might we suggest hearts? – or roll into balls, and bake at 300 degrees for about 25-30 minutes until done. Once they cool, your pup will drool! Make it a true bonding experience and enjoy a few yourself!
Organic Dog Chews
Maybe chewing is more of your furry Valentine’s bag? If so, our elk antler organic dog chews make the perfect token of affection. Made up of minerals on the outside and protein on the inside, elk antlers for dogs are natural, cruelty-free, and long-lasting chews that provide nutritious chewing enjoyment without fat, calories, or additives.
When It Comes To Pets, The Love Is Strong – and Healthy
From the data to the psychology to the behaviors on both parts, there is no question that the love between pets and humans is true, lasting, and mutually beneficial. So why not show your four-legged family member the love this Valentine’s Day with rewards like healthy dog treats, organic antler dog chews, and, most of all, a little extra of your undivided attention and affection. You'll both be better off for it!
With lots of Pet LOVE,
The Farm To Pet Team