It should come as no surprise to anyone reading this blog that pets are increasingly seen as an integral part of the family unit. In fact, one study found that 81% of the survey respondents considered their pet just as much a part of the family as their spouse or children. Some of us even like to – gasp! – refer to ourselves as a dog mom or cat mom. Even if you’re one who thinks the hallowed title of Mom should be reserved for human offspring, I’m sure you’d agree that including your beloved family pet in your Mother’s Day plans is a nice thing to do – for Mom as well as for your pet. Whether your Mom has human kids, just the furry kind, or both, Mother’s Day is a great family bonding opportunity. Here are some fun ways you can all celebrate this special day together.
1. Spend the day watching family-friendly movies, such as any number of the flicks that feature dogs and cats. It’s true that pets probably don’t care what’s playing on the TV, but can you think of anything more cozy than watching animal movies with a purring cat on your lap or a happy dog by your side? Me neither!
2. If Mom and Fido both love being out on the water, why not take them on a sightseeing day cruise? Believe it or not, there are quite a few dog-friendly cruise lines across the country. We wrote about some of them last year in All Aboard for Dog Friendly Cruises.
3. Serving Mom breakfast in bed is a Mother’s Day tradition for many. While dogs and cats are more of a help than a hindrance in the kitchen, your kids can pitch in to help make the meal. Your pet can participate by carrying in her card, safely attached to their collar, while you bring the feast. Let everyone pile onto the bed to keep her company as she eats; just be sure to have a handful of CANIDAE treats to keep your pet from sampling Mom’s meal!
4. Felines understand full well the value of a good catnap. Help Mom feel relaxed and refreshed by creating a cozy “nap zone” in the house just for her and the cat (oh OK – the dog can come, too!). Some of her favorite magazines and a comfy blanket in a secluded spot will do the trick.
5. Make Mom a scrapbook or photo album featuring two of her favorite subjects: her children and her pets. You can make it as simple or as elaborate as time permits; either way, it’s a unique and personal gift she’ll treasure forever.
6. Pack a picnic and spend a laid-back day together at the park or a dog-friendly beach. Grab some sandwiches and salads at the deli, bring along a blanket, a Frisbee and your dog’s favorite ball, and enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and low-key vibe.
7. Take the family out to lunch at a dog-friendly restaurant. Nowadays, many cafes (not just in Europe!) allow well behaved canines to keep their human dining companions company on the outdoor patio or at sidewalk tables.
8. Go on a nature hike, preferably someplace where the kids and the dog can be their naturally exuberant selves while Mom enjoys the beautiful views. Note: a walk around the block doesn’t cut it on Mother’s Day. That’s too much like her regular chore.
9. Commemorate the day and the year with a portrait of the entire family – pets included! You can have it done at a professional photo studio ahead of time or take a more casual approach and set up your camera and tripod at home.
10. For those who don’t have kids but do have pets, spending Mother’s Day with other childless pet guardians is a great way to celebrate the day.
11. Make a paw print stepping stone for her garden.
12. Give Mom homemade gift certificates for dog walking and other pet chores like feeding, bathing and grooming.
13. Have your kids draw or paint pictures of the family pet to give to Mom.
14. Have a t-shirt made for Mom from a photo of all of her “babies” together.
15. If your Mom is the craft-y type, why not gather supplies to make some cat toys together? They’re really easy to make, and it’s a fun family project. Read How to Make Your Own Cat Toys for inspiration.
Remember, the thing that most Moms want on Mother’s Day is simply to spend some quality time with all of their loved ones – and that surely includes the four-legged kind!
Top photo by Erin and Ben R.
Middle photo by Erik Fitzpatrick
Bottom photo by Joelle Inge-Messerschmidt
Read more articles by Julia Williams