Looking for love, Valentine? Find sometime who looks at you the way Oli and Humphrey do their tasty treats! Hahaha! Happy almost Valentine’s Day, furfriends. Here are some fun DIY ideas for making homemade Valentine’s Day dog treats.
Treaties for Your Sweeties
We have lots of dog treat recipe ideas in our blog archives, but if you have a tried-and-true recipe or want to make your dog’s favourite treat into a special Valentine, you can play with the shape and/or colour of your go-to treat recipe to make something special. Here are some tips and inspiration.
Tinting and Colouring Valentine's Day Dog Treats
Naturally coloured and/or tinted treats in shades of pink and red are a great option for Valentine’s Day. Dog vision is different from human vision, and they don’t see pink or red the way we do. But, if it makes your human heart happier, then go for it. The dogs will be happy with yummy treats no matter what the colour, and you can have some fun.
Some treats are naturally pink, like berry or beetroot mixtures. Pink or red tints can also be used to add or boost colour. My personal favourite add-in tint for red or pink treats is beetroot powder. It’s natural, healthy, and our boys like the scent/taste. See our post on natural food colourings for dog treats for more tinting ideas, including special tips on creating pretty pinks and ravishing reds.
Adding a pink or red dog-friendly “sprinkle” to the top of a pupcake (coconut, panko, or fine oats all tint well) or dipping a treat in melted carob and adding a few colourful sprinkles is also a simple way to use a splash of Valentine inspired colour.
Shaping and Moulding Valentine's Day Dog Treats
Anything heart shaped automatically has a lovey feeling, and dog treats are no exception. Standard heart shaped cookie cutters will work well with most roll-and-cut dog treat doughs and are something many home bakers already have on hand in the kitchen. If you don’t yet have one, a new addition to your baking tool might get lots of use over time. I use mine often, not just for special holidays.
Using heart shapes molds works great for setting your favourite no-bake treats into a heart shape. This works with pour-and-set recipes such as carob, coconut oil, gelatin gummies, etc. as well as frozen treat recipes such as frozen yogurt, fruit purees, etc.
If you have a small oven-safe heart-shaped baking pan(s), you can also convert your favourite pupcake recipe into a Valentine’s heart cake. No pan? You can DIY a heart shaped cake by combining a small circle and a small square of the same size. Bake, cool, and then cut the circle into two half circles. Position the square on its diagonal (like a diamond) and then cap the two top sides with a half circle to form a heart before frosting with a dog-friendly icing.
Decorating Dog Treats with Stamps
Stamping treats is another of my favourite ways to decorate homemade dog treats. It’s an easy way to make cute treats without adding icings or glazes. There are no extra ingredients, plus the finished treats are easy to store and handle. Since most of my treats end up in the freezer and eventually a treat bag or pocket for walkies and other adventures, portability is high on my priority list. Fun to make, cute, and portable? Pawesome.
For quick stamping, cookie stamps are easy and cute, and can be versatile for a range of uses (like mine) or very specific in their stamping design. My mother liked the look of our stamped dog treats so much that I recently gave her a stamp for baking human cookies. Special stamps aren’t required, though. Anything food-safe can be used to create your own special designs. Check out our hand stamped Valentine’s day jigsaw puzzle dog treats for a super cute example of hand stamping.
For names and other messages, I have a very inexpensive set of custom alphabet stamps. Nothing fancy, but very versatile. You’ll see these at work in a number of our posts. Definitely one of my fvourite tools for special treats. Check out our test bake and introduction to the alphabet stamps for more photos and tips for stamping names/words.
Valentine's Day Dog Treats for Special Diets
If you are trying to keep treats to a minimum or have a special doggy diet, look at the foods that you are feeding and see whether there is a opportunity to do something special with your usual menu. For example, we almost always have gelatin gummies in the fridge as a guilt-free “treat” and those are easy to make into hearts or to tint. In summer and allergy season, we often have coconut oil and I love using a mould to set and store coconut oil in the fridge for easy use. If you pup is a fruit fan, strawberries slice into lovely little hearts, although my brazen berry lovers prefer stealing them straight off the bushes! Raw feeders might like to put some real heart on the Valentine’s Day dinner menu if it’s part of your balanced dog dietary plan.
Other Doggone Great Ideas for Valentine's Day with Dogs
Ok, I know that we’re crazy about the treats here at Dalmatian DIY, but there are plenty of other ways to show your dog some special love for Valentine’s Day.
Quality Time Together
Spend some Valentine’s Day quality time together, preferably doing something that your dog really enjoys like walkies, training, a run, hiking, a car ride, trip to the beach, etc. There’s nothing better than time, attention, mental stimulation and exercise. It’s also free and good for both you and your dog. Win win! If your dog is a social animal, how about planning a doggy play-date with some furfriends? Once everyone is tuckered out, then you can curl up at home together and relax with a few special snuggles. If your dog doesn’t mind the noise (mine dislike on-screen barking), you can even enjoy a dog-themed movie together.
Toys and Playtime
Playing together with toys is also great fun. Enjoy some playtime with you dog’s favourite toys or treat them to a new toy or two. If your local pet store allows dogs, you might even be able to go shopping together! If you’d like to make instead of buy, we have lots of awesome DIY dog toy ideas in our archives, including some special Valentine toys like our love bone squeaky stuffed dog toy and giant lip kiss stuffed dog toy. Prefer a no-sew project? Tug toys are easy to make in any colour.
Photos and Memories
Don’t forget to take a few photos of you and your Valentine having fun together. Even better, why not give yourself a Valentine gift and book a photo session for you and your dog to have your portraits taken together and create some special images to treasure? You might also like to create paw prints (see how to make clay paw prints or no mess ink paw prints) or other special mementos.
Share the Love
Are you still in contact with your pet’s source? If you don’t already do this (I like to message at Christmas), you might like to contact the breeder or charity/rescue that your dog came from. Let them know how he/she is doing, and thank them for the love and joy your pet brings into your life.
A donation to your favourite animal charity in their name is a lovely way to pay-it-forward so that other animals can find their furever homes and feel the love someday. This is also a beautiful way to honour departed furfriends.
There are plenty of shelter dogs that could use a little TLC if you’d like to volunteer with your local charity. This is also a great way to get some doggy love and snuggles on Valentine’s Day if you aren’t able to own a dog of your own.
More Doggone Great Valentine’s Day Ideas
You can sniff through our Valentine’s Day dog DIY archives for more ways to celebrate. We also keep a Valentine’s board on Pinterest with fun ideas collected from here and everywhere. Have a very happy Valentine’s Day, furfriends! Sending virtual sniffs and licks of love your way!