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Fun ways to celebrate special occasions with your pet

A cat playing with the owner

Studies show that pets not only understand our emotions, such as happiness or excitement but that these feelings can influence them too — when we’re in celebration mode, they want to join in.

Pets are social creatures (even if they’re highly selective about the clique they socialize with) and many love to be included in those moments when we’re happiest, like during holidays, at weddings, on birthdays or even a specific season.

Of course, as pet parents, we love to celebrate our besties, too.

So while your dog or cat may not understand that it’s their birthday or another special occasion, if you mark it with a new treat or toy, they will definitely pick up on your mood and mirror it back to you.

We’ve got lots of ideas and product suggestions to help pet parents celebrate your pets, and make lasting memories together. Here’s how:

Celebrate birthdays and “Gotcha Days”

Mark your pet’s birthday and/or the day they joined your family — their Gotcha Day — with a special activity like a hike in their favourite park, a swim, or a visit with their favourite friend. If they’re more the indoor type, you can celebrate with a themed outfit and an Instagram photoshoot.

(Though of course the photoshoot can take place outdoors too!)

For these occasions treats are, of course, a must.

A DIY, dog-safe cake made from one of these simple mixes and topped with ice cream made just for your pup is one festive option. If you’re not into baking, let one of our suppliers do it for you and treat your pet to a celebratory “pupcake” or a cake-shaped chew for small pets like rabbits and guinea pigs.

Two dogs swimming and playing in the pool

Celebrate summer and the great outdoors

Summer is the season where pets are getting outside more often to enjoy time at the cottage or trips to the lake. They’re hovering around the barbecue wondering what’s on the grill or curling up in a warm patch of sun for an afternoon nap. They’re also enjoying that their pet parents are around more for summer vacation and long weekends.

At Pet Valu, we’re celebrating summer with our Summer Camp themed toys and products. “It has a very summer camp feel,” says Dolly Kaushal, our Director of Proprietary Brands.

“We have pennants that you would see when you went to summer camp with a lot of different features like crinkle texture and rope. We have friendship bracelets that are big rope dog toys like the ones you used to make at summer camp, and we have a lot of water-specific floating toys,” she adds.

Celebrate friendship and family

Our pets add so much to our lives, injecting little moments of joy into every day we spend with them. Celebrating the friendship and love we share with them can be a planned event (perhaps part of a human holiday like Easter or Thanksgiving) or a spontaneous one.

There are so many simple ways to do this:

  • When celebrating a human holiday, invite friends and their pets over for a barbecue or small indoor gathering. Serve up some pet-safe treats for your four-legged guests and have plenty of toys and water bowls on hand.
  • Schedule group play dates at your home or in a neighbourhood park so that your pup gets to see their canine BFFs — you can even turn this into a weekly or monthly special ritual.
  • Plan a trip with your pet, with pet-inclusive stops they’ll enjoy mapped out along the way. Or simply hop in the car and take them to your local pet store to pick out a treat or new toy, and to get some extra love and attention from pet-loving staff.

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