Source: Toronto Sun (Extract)
Posted: February 17, 2021

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and word is the family pooch was showered with more love, affection and gifts than its owners were.

So says a recent survey from Rover dog services on just how cherished a family pet is – especially during these pandemic times.

The report, titled Decoding Your Dog’s Love Language, states the majority of Canadian dog parents thanked their pets for having positively impacted their mental health during the pandemic – and they showed this by showering their four-legged furry friends with toys and gifts. Average money spent? A  minimum of $50 per pet.

“For quite some time, Valentine’s Day has been one of the more popular holidays for people to celebrate their relationships with their companion animals, but this year it may be more special than ever before,”  says Phil Tedeschi, a human/animal connection expert, in a recent interview. “Because of the pandemic and people’s sense of isolation – and at times outright loneliness – our animals have taken on an over-sized role.”

It’s a given a dog lover shows their love and appreciation in a variety of ways. The pandemic has amplified this affection ten-fold, added Tedeschi, a member of Rover’s Dog People Panel, who says that humans and dogs both have the ability to send and receive love messages to one another.

“I have been studying dogs for decades and one thing is abundantly clear: Dogs have the ability to love their human counterparts, reciprocate love shown towards them and communicate that affection in a number of subtle and overt ways,” says Tedeschi. “Perhaps more than any other time in recent history, humans have  learned to rely on and appreciate their dogs for mental and emotional support during this pandemic.”

“Dogs have once again proven how much we rely on them for love and companionship,” added Kate Jaffe, a trend expert for Rover, in a recent news release. “Whether it’s snuggles, playtime, or just being great company during a year of social distancing, dogs have helped so many of us through these difficult times.  This year, perhaps more than ever, the vast majority of us planned on going out of our way to express our love and adoration for our pups on Valentine’s Day. They deserve it.”

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