Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Top 10 Unexpected Valentine Gifts

Sit, Stay, Not Spend
Sit, Stay, Not Spend
Sit, Stay, Not Spend

Pet lovers may not be surprised to know that 17.2 percent of Valentine's Day celebrators plan to drop an estimated $367 million on their dogs, cats or other nonhuman family members this Valentine's Day. Our suggestion for 2009? Spend somewhere between $0 and the price of a new dog bone.

Park It

Dog parks and other green spots are a fur-friend's paradise and a great way for an owner to meet a brand new Valentine! Hot spots like San Francisco, which boasts a higher population of dogs than children, has green areas from Golden Gate Park to Buena Vista Park. Plenty of other major cities and suburbs have pet-friendly spots to spend the day, with or without a Valentine. Here are just a few:

  • Atlanta's Piedmont Park is a great place for off- and on-leash owners; two off-leash parks cater to both big dogs and small.
  • Los Angeles' Venice Beach Boardwalk couldn't be a better place to mingle single with a pet.
  • Nashville's city parks department has three top spots: Centennial, Edwin and Shelby dog parks.
  • In Philadelphia, Schuylkill River Dog Park is the place to chat with other pet lovers - and it's right across from the historic 30th Street Station.
  • Seattle's Pike Place Market, Puget Sound and even the Washington State Ferry are pet-friendly.
  • In Washington, D.C., lounge with your leashed pooch on the National Mall or head to Rock Creek Park for the day.

More to Explore