When February 14th rolls around, it’s not just partners and crushes who get showered with love—pets do too. So, do people buy valentine’s gifts for their pets? Significantly, yes; the trend has gathered momentum over the years. We’ll unpack what’s driving this surge in pet pampering, showcase the most sought-after pet gifts, and consider how this reflects the evolving relationship between humans and their pets. From doting dog owners to affectionate cat parents, this article reveals how pets are getting their fair share of Valentine’s affection.

Key Takeaways

  • Valentine’s Day is not just for humans anymore; a significant 28% of Americans celebrate it with their pets, treating them to special toys, treats, and outfits that express appreciation for the emotional support and companionship pets provide.
  • 2022 saw pet lovers lavishing $1.189 billion on their furry companions for Valentine’s Day, with individual spending on pets’ gifts averaging over $30, underscoring the trend of pets being considered integral family members.
  • Social media and specialized marketing strategies have become pivotal in the way pet parents shop for Valentine’s gifts, with convenience and personalized experiences driving the consumer interest in including pets in holiday celebrations.

Paws and Hearts: The Rise of Valentine's Day Gifts for Pets

A variety of Valentine-themed gifts for pets

The growing trend of Valentine’s Day gifts for pets reflects the profound emotional connection we share with our furry companions. Being more than just household animals, pets are cherished family members who fill our lives with unconditional love and boundless joy. Thus, it’s unsurprising that we desire to involve them in our love celebrations.

A sea of heart-shaped dog treats, squeaky toys, and cozy beds are now on offer, making it easy for pet parents to spoil their pets on Valentine’s Day. This trend is backed up by numbers. A whopping 28 percent of Americans plan to spend Valentine’s Day celebrating with their pet, according to a survey by OnePoll and online retailer Zulily. And this isn’t just a token gesture. The same survey reveals that 59 percent of participants view Valentine’s Day as a chance to show their pet just how much they’re appreciated.

The Pet Love Phenomenon

The Pet Love Phenomenon is a genuine trend that’s capturing attention nationwide. According to one study, 90% of pet owners in America consider their pets to be members of the family. These creatures are not merely pets, they provide:

  • solace and affection
  • companionship
  • emotional support
  • unconditional love

For numerous individuals, they hold a place in the family equal to human relatives.

This trend is increasingly visible in the way we celebrate holidays. More and more pet owners are choosing to include their pets in Valentine’s Day celebrations. And it isn’t just about showering pets with gifts. It’s about acknowledging the important role that pets play in our lives and the love and companionship they offer us.

Spending on Furry Valentines

As pet owners, we’re not just expressing our love in cuddles and belly rubs. We’re also expressing it in dollars and cents. In 2022, it was projected that pet enthusiasts would generously spend $1.189 billion on their pets for Valentine’s Day. This pet spending forms a part of the greater $23.9 billion overall expected spend for Valentine’s Day in the same year.

When it comes to individual Valentine’s Day spending, the numbers are equally impressive. On average, individuals planned to spend $175.41 per person on Valentine’s Day gifts in 2022, climbing up from $164.76 in the previous year. Of this amount, more than $30 was allocated for their pet’s Valentine’s Day celebration.

A dog enjoying a Valentine-themed treat

So, what are we buying for our pets on Valentine’s Day? The answer is a smorgasbord of Valentine-themed treats, toys, and accessories. For the foodie dogs out there, popular gift options include Milk-Bone Sweetheart Snacks and Tender Hearts - soft, chewy treats presented in Valentine-themed packaging.

We should also remember the toys. Some popular Valentine’s Day gifts for pets include:

  • Hide & Seek Puzzle Plush Squeaky Dog Toys, like the Frisco’s Valentine Love Letters and Box of Chocolates toys, which are a hit with those looking for interactive gifts
  • Valentine’s Day bandanas and bow ties for fashion-forward pets
  • Customized items like Frisco’s XOXO Hearts Personalized Bandanas

These are among the favorites for pet owners looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their pet dog and other furry friends.

A pet enjoying a new toy on Valentine's Day

Beyond the most popular items, pet parents are getting creative with their Valentine’s Day gifts. From gourmet treats in love-themed gift boxes to matching outfits and interactive toys, there’s something for every pet - and every budget.

A noteworthy trend is the popularity of gourmet treats, as pet owners present their fur babies with treats composed of human-grade ingredients. But it’s not just about the food. Pet lovers are also investing in comfortable beds, stylish clothing, and wellness items for their pets.

Gourmet Treats and Chocolates for Dogs and Cats

Regarding Valentine’s Day treats, pet owners are sparing no expense. Gourmet dog treats, designed with human-grade ingredients like wheat flour, oat flour, coconut oil, and peanut butter, are increasingly popular. Limited-edition Valentine’s Day treats, such as Bark Food Le Mutt Macarons and the flavors in Bocce’s Bakery Puppy Love Dog Treat Bundle, provide a festive and tasteful way for pet owners to show love to their dogs.

Cats aren’t left out in the cold either. Temptations Blissful Catnip treats, flavored with dried catnip and natural ingredients like salmon and cheese, are available in a 16-ounce resealable tub, with each treat containing under 2 calories. It’s clear that when it comes to gourmet treats for our pets, we’re pulling out all the stops.

Playful Presents: Toys and Accessories

Toys also constitute a significant component of our Valentine’s Day gift-giving, along with other gifts like greeting cards. Interactive toys, such as the BWOGUE Dog Valentines Toy and the Leo’s Paw Interactive Bird Simulation Cat Toy, are popular choices to keep our pets entertained and engaged.

For those looking for a bit of bonding time with their pets, the Fable Twin Falcon Toy invites dogs to enjoy a game of tug of war and can be filled with treats like peanut butter to reward their efforts. And for those quieter moments, plush toys like heart-shaped ones and the Snuggle Puppy Heartbeat Stuffed Toy provide both comfort and entertainment.

Comfort and Care: Beds, Clothing, and Wellness

Cozy pet bed and stylish pet clothing

Beyond the treats and toys, pet owners are also investing in items that provide comfort and care for their pets. The Best Friends by Sheri The Original Calming Donut Bed and the Woolygon Felt Cat Bed Cave are popular picks for cozy and comfortable pet beds.

Fashion is also high on the list, with Valentine’s themed pet clothing like the Frisco Dog Cable Knit Sweater and Sherpa fleece dog coat flying off the shelves. For pet owners who want to ensure their pets are pampered and cherished, these gifts offer a way to show their love on Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Cupid's Impact on Consumer Interest in Pet Gifts

The rise in Valentine’s Day spending on pets isn’t happening in a vacuum. It’s being driven by a surge in consumer interest in celebrating relationships with pets. This trend has been fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw an increase in pet ownership, with one in five households acquiring a cat or dog at the beginning of the pandemic.

As a result, businesses have begun to target pet parents with special Valentine-themed promotions, capitalizing on the trend of including pets in the celebration. Let’s delve into how retailers are marketing to pet parents and the role of social media in pet gift shopping.

Marketing to Pet Parents

Retailers are getting creative in their marketing strategies, targeting pet parents and adult consumers with special gift promotions. According to the National Retail Federation, from curated emails suggesting ideal gift options to website popups offering early access to sales, giveaways, or discounts, businesses are finding unique ways to engage pet parents as shoppers expect more personalized experiences.

In addition to traditional marketing methods, businesses are also leveraging modern marketing strategies. For instance, shoppable media platforms like MikMak enable pet parents to directly engage with and purchase Valentine’s Day-themed products. These innovative strategies are helping to drive the growing trend of Valentine’s Day spending on pets.

The Role of Social Media in Pet Gift Shopping

In today’s digital age, buying gifts for pets has become more convenient than ever, thanks to social media playing a crucial role in pet gift shopping and research. A significant percentage of Valentine’s Day shopping and research now takes place on mobile platforms and devices, which include social media platforms.

But it’s not just about where shopping and research are taking place. It’s also about when. The bulk of mobile activity, including research and purchase behavior on social media, occurs in the early morning and late evenings. This suggests that these times may be optimal for businesses to engage with potential customers and cater to consumers interest.

The Emotional Bond: Why We Celebrate Valentine's Day with Pets

Pets play a significant role in our lives. They’re not just cute and cuddly; they also provide a host of physical, mental, psychological, and social health benefits. This emotional bond is celebrated on special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, reflecting the deep love and affection we share with our pets.

We should explore further into the reasons for celebrating Valentine’s Day with our pets, considering pets as significant others and the comfort they offer.

Pets as Significant Others

Research in science has unveiled resemblances in brain structures associated with love and attachment in both pets and their caregivers. This underlines the depth of the emotional bond between humans and their pets.

Many people view Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to show their pets how much they are appreciated, treating them with the same regard as a human partner. This is a testament to the significant role pets play in our lives. They are our protectors, our companions, and for many of us, they’re as much a part of the family as any human relative.

The Comfort Factor

Pets make substantial contributions to our mental health. They help reduce feelings of loneliness and provide social support similar to that offered by human companions. Interaction with pets helps reduce depression and anxiety, while increasing social connections.

Pets also play a role in our physical well-being. Sharing a living space with a pet can contribute to increased physical activity, which is a key factor in maintaining physical health and comfort. It’s clear that the comfort factor is a major reason why we celebrate Valentine’s Day with our pets.

From Pooch Smooches to Kitty Cuddles: Real Stories of Valentine's Day Pet Pampering

A heartwarming moment between a pet and its owner on Valentine's Day

Nearly half of all pet caregivers have participated in Valentine’s Day festivities for their pets, featuring activities from purchasing new outfits to creating special treats. These celebrations often reflect the deep bond between pets and their owners.

One heartwarming story involves a pair of unlikely pals: a steadfast dog and a domestic short hair cat named Sammie. Despite their differences, they share moments of affection with head bonks and licks, demonstrating a special bond on Valentine’s Day, a heart filled holiday, and beyond.

These narratives remind us of the distinctive and potent bond that links humans and their pets together.

The Economics of Affection: How Much More Money Are We Spending on Pets?

Our increasing affection for our pets is noticeably influencing our financial habits. Valentine’s Day spending on pets has seen a 17% increase from 2010 to 2020, with U.S. consumers expected to spend $1.7 billion on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets in 2020. This figure reached a staggering $1.189 billion in 2022, part of an overall increase in Valentine’s Day spending reaching $23.9 billion.

But it’s not just about Valentine’s Day. Pet owners spend an average of $153 a month on their dogs, totaling $1,836 a year. Millennials specifically spend an average of $1,285 a year on their dogs and $915 a year on their cats. In 2020, overall spending on pets in the U.S. reached $103.6 billion. Evidently, we are more than willing to spend generously on our pets to express how much they matter to us.


The trend of celebrating Valentine’s Day with our pets is a reflection of the deep emotional bond we share with these furry family members. Whether we’re splurging on gourmet treats, investing in interactive toys, or spoiling them with fashionable outfits, we’re expressing our love in a myriad of ways. This heart-filled holiday may traditionally be reserved for human lovers, but it’s clear that our pets hold a special place in our hearts - and our wallets.

Frequently Asked Questions

What percent of people buy Valentine gifts for their pets?

Around 27% of people buy Valentine's Day gifts for their pets, making it one of the fastest-growing areas of holiday spending.

How many people typically buy Valentines for their pets 2023?

Roughly 27% of people plan to purchase Valentine's Day gifts for their pets, amounting to around $1.7 billion in total spending. This marks a significant increase in pet gifting compared to previous years.

Should you give pets as gifts?

No, you should not give pets as gifts, as caring for animals is a big responsibility and they should not be carelessly given to anyone. It's important to fully think it through beforehand, especially if the recipient is a child.

How are businesses marketing Valentine-themed products to pet parents?

Businesses are engaging pet parents with curated emails, website popups, and shoppable media platforms to promote Valentine-themed products. This helps them create a personalized and interactive shopping experience for pet owners.

Why do people celebrate Valentine's Day with their pets?

People celebrate Valentine's Day with their pets to show appreciation for the love and companionship they provide in their lives. Pets play an important role in their owners' lives and are valued members of the family.

Thank you for reading this article, and Happy Valentine's Day to your pup!

Your Friend,


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