- The best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is with your dog — Yes, chef! Celebrate puppy love with DIY, easy-to-make recipes and treats to share Valentine’s Day with your dog.
- Easy DIY recipes for Valentine’s dog treats — No-bake and three-ingredient recipes only take 5 minutes to prep. The best part? Your dog will enjoy the extra leftovers in the mixing bowl.
- Safety hazards to avoid — Xylitol is a highly poisonous ingredient to dogs. Always check the labels on your ingredients to keep your pet as safe as possible.
Cooking for your best friend is a solid way to spend Valentine’s Day. The best part? Your furry Valentine will enjoy taste-testing all the ingredients and ‘helping’ you in the kitchen. It’s a great way to spend time together, and you both will wind up with some tasty treats as a result.
Here are a few pet parent-tested Valentine’s Day treats that you and your furry friend will love.
Things to keep in mind this Valentine’s Day
When you start to make your grocery list, always avoid ingredients that may be toxic to dogs — and don’t forget to consider your dog’s dietary restrictions, too! For example: you may need to stick to a low-fat diet if your best friend has any underlying health issues.
🚨Watch out for anything with sugar. Even ingredients like applesauce need to be unsweetened.
Ingredients to avoid
It’s fine to use fruit and other natural ingredients in your dog’s food — they might even slow the aging process — but be sure not to use foods that could be toxic or harmful to your pet. Here’s a complete list of foods to avoid, and some of the most risky “avoid-at-all-costs” foods down below.
“Some foods that are ok for us can be toxic to our dogs. Even a small amount of things like chocolate (especially dark chocolate) and grapes can be very dangerous. Pits from fruits like cherries can be toxic or can cause blockages in the intestines, so be careful to avoid your dog getting into these,” shares Jennifer Schott, DVM.
There are always those counter-surfing dogs you need to watch, so when you have everything spread out and prepped, keep an eye out for your dogs not eating a bag of strawberries. Strawberries are fine in moderation, but not two bags!
Remember never to include these ingredients in any dog treats you bake yourself. Use fruit, but watch out for seeds and pits! Fruits may even slow down the aging process! Use caution with the following:
- Apples. Apple seeds contain cyanide.
- Apricots and peaches. The pits may cause choking.
- Cherries. Cherry pits may cause choking, but pits can contain toxic cyanide compounds.
- Chocolate. Chocolate is toxic to dogs.
- Coffee. Caffeine can cause health issues.
- Garlic. Raw or cooked garlic is toxic to dogs.
- Grapes. Grapes may cause kidney failure in dogs.
- Macadamia nuts. These nuts may cause muscle weakness and vomiting.
- Moldy foods. Moldy food causes vomiting, tremors, and agitation.
- Onions. Onions contain a toxic that causes anemia in dogs.
- Salt. Too much salt can cause severe dehydration.
- Tea. Anything high in caffeine content is toxic to dogs.
- Yeast dough. Raw bread dough can lead to severe poisoning.
Other safety hazards
There are many benefits to making your treats. (For example: There won’t be any guessing about the ingredients used! Use your best judgment and research all the ingredients before you invite your dog to a taste test .
4 DIY recipes for Valentine’s Day dog treats to bake at home
Each of these four recipes has healthy ingredients, and you can be creative with shapes. There were two hungry hounds to test these meatballs and treats. The two no-bakes have a prep time of five minutes but need to be made the day before your party or the morning of, as they require time in the freezer or fridge.
Tip: All these recipes are from the wonderful Dogglicious Valentine’s Special Edition Cookbook.
Our favorite DIY recipe
1. Raspberry and banana chewies
- 1 ripe banana
- ½ cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees, cover a baking tray with a baking sheet, and set aside.
- Mash the banana, egg, and raspberries.
- Stir in flour until the dough comes together.
- Use a tablespoon to drop clumps onto the baking tray.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Keep in the fridge for 5 days.
3 other easy DIY recipes for Valentine’s Day
All you need is a blender and a fridge for these three. A cute mold is another option for the no-bake recipe. Look for paws or heart-shaped molds to make the treats look pro!
2. Woof balls, doggy meatballs
- 1/2 pound chicken breast (or beef or pork; you can mix or choose just one flavor)
- 1 large egg
- 1 small-medium fresh beet
Tip: Beets are a great addition to recipes. They add vitamin C, fiber, folate, potassium, and manganese. Small quantities, though, as they’re high in sugar!
- Cut the chicken breast into 1-inch cubes
- Cut the beet into large cubes.
- In a medium pot, bring the chicken breast and beet to a boil.
- Reduce the heat, and simmer for at least 10 minutes.
- Drain and add the cooked ingredients to a food processor.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add egg to the food processor and process until smooth.
- Transfer the mixture using a tablespoon to drop clumps of the mixture onto a baking tray.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- These can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
3. Fruity frosty hearts
- 1 cup raspberry/blueberries (fresh or frozen work!)
- 1 banana
- 1 tbsp peanut butter (xylitol and salt-free)
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt
- In a blender, mix all the ingredients until smooth
- Pour into a silicone mold or ice cube tray
- Freeze for at least 3 hours
- Remove from the mold and store in an airtight bag for 3 days.
4. Apple and blueberry balls
- 6 tbsp of quick oats
- 2 tbsp dried or fresh blueberries
- 1/4 red apple, grated
- 1 tbsp water
- Add 4 tbsp of oats to the food processor and chop it up.
- Add the blueberries, 2 tbsp of the unground oats and the shredded apple and mix it in by hand.
- Add water if needed to get a consistency to stick together.
- Roll into 1-2 inch balls; size will be based on the size of your dog.
- Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
- Store in the fridge for no more than 5 days!
Don’t want to bake your own?
We understand that only some have the time or desire to bake their dog treats. Here are 6 pre-made Valentine’s Day dog treat options that you can gift your furry friend.
- Why we like it: These are made with apples and carrots, so the ingredients are close to some of the DIY easy-to-make recipes!
- Why we like it: It contains a single source of protein, which makes this the perfect treat for a dog with food sensitivities, as you know exactly what you’re getting.
ACANA High-Protein Biscuits Grain-Free Beef Liver Recipe Med/Large Breed Dog Treats, 9-oz bag
- Why we like it: You had us at beef liver, and they’re heart-shaped!
- Why we like it: Most dogs love the salmon flavor, and these treats are made with sustainably sourced salmon.
- Why we like it: The soft and chewy texture will win over your dog, and soon, it will be a go-to for all holidays.
- Why we like it: The chicken, duck, and chicken liver flavors are shaped in large heart-shaped treats.
If your pup loves cookies, this year is the time to bake some Valentine’s Day dog treats. Remember to use human-grade ingredients and natural ingredients. And if you’re planning to try new foods, have your pup eat these in small quantities at first — everything in moderation, after all.
Pro tip: Use bone shapes for your molds! It gives it a fun extra spin for both you and your pet (and any photos you might take of the gift!)
If you have plans to go out, you can always make the treats in advance and send these to a friend with doggos as a Valentine’s gift.
Frequently asked questions
Why do dogs make the best Valentine?
Dogs are known as man’s best friend but also make the perfect Valentine. Dogs are loyal, and never fail to show unconditional love. They don’t care about materialistic things or grand gestures, either — all they want is to be by your side and make you happy!
What animal represents Valentine’s Day?
The animal that represents Valentine’s Day (the cute and cuddly teddy bear), is typically the symbol of love and affection. These soft and huggable creatures, with their heart-shaped noses and sweet expressions, are often given as gifts on Valentine’s Day to show someone how much they are loved and cared for.
How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your pet?
Valentine’s Day is not just for humans; it can also be special for our furry friends! Here are some ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your pet. Give them extra love and attention, make homemade treats, buy them a new toy or outfit, have a photoshoot, go on an adventure, and pamper them.
Remember, the most important thing is to spend quality time with your pet and show them how much you love them.
What is the impact of dog love on human love relationships?
The impact of dog love on human love relationships can be incredibly positive. Dogs have a unique ability to bring joy, comfort, and unconditional love into our lives. This can significantly enhance the quality of our relationships with humans.
What animal represents love and protection?
The commonly agreed-upon animal that represents love and protection is the dove!