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A Dog Lover’s Guide to Dating on Valentine’s Day

Dog Lover’s Guidance

Ahhh Valentine’s Day— an occasion to buy sappy cards and flowers and to spend time with the one you love. But if you’re like a lot of pooch parents, you always have to clarify who you’re talking about when you mention the “love of your life” — your person paramour or your canine crush?

When it comes to romantic outings, there’s no need for jealousy — why not bring both? There are plenty of spots for both hand-holding and leash-holding. Check it out:

Dog-Friendly Hotels

Looking for a romantic getaway or staycation for Valentine’s Day? Many hotels welcome furry guests for the night, and even cater to them! Four Seasons, Kimpton, La Quinta, Best Western, and Loews are all hotel chains that welcome guests of the four-legged variety (and some even allow birds, monkeys and snakes!). Just don’t forget to order for your pet when you get breakfast in bed.

Parks & Beaches

A stroll in the park or walk on the beach has always been considered romance 101. Most parks will allow dogs on-leash (a good idea for their safety, as well as the safety of others), and there are a growing number of off-leash dog beaches. Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach is a great example, where you can frolic in the surf and watch the sunset together. For the more adventurous, there are plenty of dog-friendly hiking spots as well.

Dinner and Cocktails

In Southern California, and other warm climates, outdoor dining is still on the menu in mid-February, especially when no meal is complete without a fuzzy face asking for scraps. When searching for the right spot for dinner or drinks, Yelp offers filters like “Outdoor Seating” and “Dogs Allowed” to help you find the right spot for a romantic rendezvous.

Catch a Flick

While you can’t bring your pet to the multiplex, there are still options for the canine cinephile! The Electric Dusk Drive-In, for example, is pet-friendly and features romantic films like The Notebook, Crazy Stupid Love and Casablanca throughout the month.

Go Shopping

If your love language is “gift giving,” the mall may have the most potential for romance. Thankfully, there are many dog-friendly places to shop, like the Grove, the Americana, or the Third Street Promenade. Or if you’re waiting for the weekend, flea markets sometimes feature visiting pups on their Instagram page!

Staying In

Maybe your idea of the perfect Valentine’s Day with your pooch and person is staying home for a quiet night of cooking and canoodling. If so, when you make dinner together, don’t forget to save something special for the dog bowl. Cooked chicken or salmon, rice, veggies like broccoli and carrots or sweet potatoes are all appropriate doggie delicacies. Just be sure to avoid fatty cuts of meat and of course, NO chocolates. Get cozy on the couch with romantic film favorites you can find on demand or in your DVD collection, like Must Love Dogs, The Truth about Cats and Dogs and Lady and the Tramp.