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Valentine’s Day is all about showing your loved ones just how much you care for them, but this love doesn’t have to be exclusively for your significant others. Considering our pets show us unconditional love every single day, it’s important to return the favor. Here are some ways to show your furry little valentine just how much you appreciate them.

Go For a Long Walk

Enjoying “long walks on the beach” doesn’t have to be reserved for a line in a dating profile. Charleston is home to some pretty amazing beaches, and luckily for dog lovers, the off-season is an easier time to bring your pup along. During the winter season (October 1st – April 30th) Sullivan’s Island extends their “off-leash hours” by two hours. This means that with a valid Sullivan’s Island permit, your valentine can romp off-leash from 5:00 am to noon, and can walk while leashed from 12:00 pm on. 

Dogs are also allowed on Folly Beach during the winter season. Just be sure to keep them on a leash and to bring bags to clean up after them!

Throw a “Paw-ty”

If your dog loves to socialize, celebrate Valentine’s Day by visiting one of the many dog parks in the Charleston Area. Take in views of the harbor and marina at Brittlebank Park where dogs are free to sniff off-leash. For a full day of fun, visit the James Island County Park. Between the long trails and the huge off-leash dog park (containing pond access for the water-lovers), your pup will be entertained for hours.

Get a Little Valentine’s Day Gift

Surprise your fur-baby with a little token of your appreciation for all of their year-round love. For an adorable pup approved cookie, stop by one of Woof Gang Bakery’s three Charleston locations. If you’re looking for an adorable Valentine’s Day themed bowtie collar, check out the selection at Crew Lala in the Avondale area.

Treat Your Pup to a Spa Day

Does your pooch need a little TLC? Try The Dog Wash located in downtown Charleston or Zen Dog Spa on Windermere Blvd. At The Dog Wash, you can choose the “Self Service Bath” and use the space and grooming utilities, or you can leave the dirty work to the professionals. At Zen Dog Spa, grooming professionals will create a low-stress environment so your pup can still back and relax.

Take Your Dog on a Date

Take your valentine out on the town to one of the many dog-friendly spots in Charleston. Enjoy a beer at Revelry Brewing, dinner at The Workshop, or brunch at the Lost Dog Cafe. All three spots have outdoor pup-friendly tables for you and your furry best friend. For drinks and a show, try The Barrel, a bar/dog park hybrid where you can enjoy a brew and watch your dog chase and play other dogs of all shapes and sizes. 

Feed Them Some Healthy Human Food

Chocolate covered strawberries are a Valentine’s Day staple, and while we know to never give our dogs chocolate, plain strawberries can be a healthy Valentine’s Day treat! The nutrients in strawberries may help strengthen the immune system and slow signs related to aging. Blueberries are another sweet treat for dogs that contain antioxidants that can help prevent cell and tissue damage. 

Just as humans have different personalities and preferences, make sure you’re paying attention to which Valentine’s Day treat is best for your pup. If your dog loves other dogs, he might love a trip to the park. If your dog is food-motivated, a treat will make their day. And sometimes, the best treat of all is just a good snuggle with their favorite human.

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