Last year a survey from the National Retail Federation showed that 1 in 5 pet owners would spend money on their pet for Valentine’s Day. The average pet parent spends roughly $5 on their pets for Valentine’s. If one out of every five of your clients would spend an extra $5 with you this February, that could turn into some nice extra income for your pet business. Here are 14 ideas to make that happen:

  • Run a special Valentine’s Day promotion. Have a time-sensitive Valentine’s offer for customers. Could be a discount or a buy-one-get-one-free offer – as long as you tell customers it’s because they mean the world to you and your business.
  • Offer a new service or product. If you’re a dog groomer, why not put together a special spa package ahead of Valentine’s? Perhaps offer a free facial or pawdicure if they book a “full groom” in the week leading up to Valentine’s. If you’re a dog walker, offer an evening walking service so clients can enjoy a romantic evening out without worrying about their dog.
  • Offer a free gift with every purchase. In the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, give every paying customer a free Valentine’s gift. This could be something as simple as some homemade heart-shaped cookies or a Valentine’s Day card with their pet’s name on it.
  • Create a pawsome store display for Valentine’s Day. Package heart-shaped cookies, toys and other loveable items together in a beautiful Valentine’s Day display. Turn regular pet products into Valentine’s gift packs by tying them together using red ribbons and cute gift tags, or placing the products in gift bags.
  • Decorate with hearts. Decorate your pet store, grooming salon or vet clinic with hearts in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day and you’re sure to put your clients in a loving mood. I found a super cute (and free!) DIY dog silhouette and hearts garland over at the Beagles and Bargains Blog (tinyurl.com/dogartpp117). Use it in your store window or by your Valentine’s gift display to create a buzz.
  • Run a contest. Supply pet parents with Post-It notes and ask them to complete the sentence: “I love my pet because ________ .”  Put all entries on a bulletin board in your store. Pick the winner(s) on Valentine’s Day!
  • Create a gift guide. Make it easy for pet parents to spoil their pets with a guide of suggested Valentine’s Day gifts on your blog, website or perhaps even in your store window.
  • Celebrate their pet’s heart. Think about ways you could incorporate products that promote heart health into your Valentine’s promotions. For example, use the week leading up to Valentine’s Day to educate your customers about omega supplements, or heartworm preventatives. Combine that info with a great offer!
  • Share the love. Help pet parents help pets in need this Valentine’s Day. Donate $1 for every purchase made on Valentine’s Day, or organize a collection box for a local shelter.
  • Change your Facebook cover image. Change your Facebook cover image and feature whatever promotions you’re running this Valentine’s Day.
  • Share Valentine’s Day tips.  Share Valentine’s cookie recipes and fun DIY projects on social media.
  • Send your clients an email. Or you can send them a real Valentine’s Day card saying how much you love them. Perhaps even hand out your cards in-store. Make it more fun and address it directly to their pet!
  • Post love notes on social media. Share photos of your day-to-day clients in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day – and tell the world why you love them. (For example, “We love Fluffy because he gives us the best kisses” or “Alfie has stolen our hearts because he always finds the ball and brings it back when other dogs lose it.”) Add heart stickers and text overlays with Photofy or Canva.com. 
  • Share, share, share. Now that you’ve come up with an extensive promotions plan for Valentine’s Day, tell your clients. They won’t know unless you tell them, so share in your newsletter, on social media, your blog and website. And in-store, be sure to create clear signage and posters promoting your offers.

How will you tell your clients you love them this Valentine’s Day?


LINDA LIEBRAND is a former marketing manager for a successful doggie spa and boutique who is now helping others promote their local pet businesses. She writes about pet biz marketing at mybrandbuddy.com and can be reached at linda@mybrandbuddy.com

This article originally appeared in the Jan-Feb 2017 edition of PETS+.