The celebration of Valentine’s Day reportedly goes back to Roman times, but this day of love did not come to America until 1629 with the Puritans, and it was about l00 years later before the first Valentine cards appeared in the United States, and It has only been in recent years that our four-footed companion animals have been included in our Valentine giving. According to CBS News, more than 3 BILLION dollars will be spent this year on friends and other human acquaintances, and more than 5 BILLION dollars will be spent on pets.

There are many ways to show your canine you care, but keep safety in mind when considering gifts. You might love receiving a box of chocolates, but chocolate is toxic to dogs, and other candy is also a no-no to dogs, so should be kept out of paws’ reach. Plants and flowers are awesome human gifts, but some plants are poisonous to dog, and they too should be kept up and away from curious animals.

Since dogs are social, emotional creatures, companionship is far more important than any material gift. …he would rather have YOU than anything you could possibly buy. Spending quality time together is relaxing and good for both of you, and it doesn’t cost a penny.

  • Give your dog a massage: dogs get stiff and sore and tense too. A massage or just a gentle belly rub is always appreciated!
  • Turn off the TV, computer, and cell phone: tune into your dog rather than all the technical devices that gobble up so much of your time. Put your schedule and your worries aside, and let your dog know that you are truly concentrating on his companionship.
  • Get goofy with her: play on the floor with her…forget your inhibitions and have fun!
  • Take him for a car ride that ends up at a pet supply store. It’s a great way to spend time together and for your dog to gain social skills. Let him sniff out all the toys and pick his favorite.
  • Bake some yummy, HEALTHY, homemade treats for her: Most commercial treats are not healthy, and they are expensive. We are all overwhelmed by the many dog treat choices available in the pet food aisle, and it is easy to be deceived into thinking they must be good, but the pet food business is a BIG business that produces many nutritionally deficient, overly processed junk foods. Their number one priority is to make money, not to ensure your pet’s health…Sure, there are a few exceptions, but we suggest that you make treat- baking a family affair, and surprise your dog with some easy to make, healthy treats. Consider making a double batch so you can give Valentine treats to a dog who might not be getting any!

All you need is five minutes prep time and a single sweet potato (or yam) to make Sweet Potato Treats.

Pure, easy, and unadulterated, dog treats can’t get any healthier, easier, or less expensive than this:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Scrub the sweet potato or yam…no need to peel it.
  3. Cut into thin slices…the thinner the slice, the shorter the cooking time
  4. Place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet in a single layer.
  5. Bake in oven at 250 degress for 3 hours for slightly chewy treats or bake slightly longer to get them crunchier. (Timing will vary according to the thickness of your slices…just keep your eye on them)
  6. TIP: If you have a dehydrator, pop them in there instead of the oven.


  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup peanut butter (Make sure it does NOT contain the new fad sweetener , Zylitol)
  1. Combine ingredients and mix well.
  2. Drop bite sized bits on lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 375 degrees for 15 minutes. For crispier treats, bake a tad longer.

Dogs give unconditional love….EVERY day… they lift us up when we are down, and they celebrate with us when we rejoice. They never withhold affection, nor do they even consider that we might not be worthy of their love. They are loyal, with deep and lasting devotion…they are perfect Valentines all year long.