Who Says Pet Parents Can't Celebrate Mother's Day?

It's almost Mother's Day, and just because your child may be furry and walk on four paws doesn't mean you can't take part in the fun. After all, pet parents are some of the best, most loving, giving, and deserving moms around.

Here are some ideas on fun ways to celebrate Mother's Day together. With a little preparation it will be a day to wag about.

  1. Go to brunch together! The weather is getting warmer, and that means more restaurants are setting up their patios and sidewalks for al fresco dining. If you live in an area where dogs are allowed to join their people at outdoor tables (and in most areas in the US, they are), sniff around for one that has an appealing menu and will welcome you with your dog. Keep in mind that it may be pretty busy at some of these places on Mother's Day, and call ahead to see if it would be OK to bring your dog. Reservations may be needed. Be open to celebrating on another day; the day before Mother's Day is just as good as the "big day" itself, and you won't have to deal with the crowds. (Prices for just about the same food may well be lower, too.)

  2. Get your dog the right duds. Dress your dog up for the holiday with a leash or collar designed with hearts or flowers. It'll brighten your day every time you look at your fur child. Or if you want to go all out, try out some doggy clothes made for this special day. Type "mother's day dog clothes" into your favorite search engine and you'll come up with some fun choices. A couple of places that offer doggy shirts proclaiming their love for mom include: The Pet Boutique and The Yuppy Puppy Boutique.

  3. Help your dog send you a card. Dogs may not be very good at taking the car and going shopping, but if they were, you can be assured that yours would buy you a very cool Mother's Day card. The good news is that you can help your dog out with card "shopping" without ever leaving the house. And there are plenty of places to find great doggy Mother's Day cards online. Sloppy Kiss Cards has several very appealing animated Mother's Day cards you can custom design with pictures of your breed of choice, and a message from your dog. Some cards even offer the ability to upload your dog's photo for a highly personalized experience. Sloppy Kiss offers a free 30-day trial, or you pay just $13.95 for a year of unlimited e-cards. Part of the membership fee goes to Petfinder.com, so you can't go wrong.

  4. Celebrate with a special bouquet. Since Mother's Day is on a Sunday, you might be able to find a dog-friendly farmer's market in your area with vendors selling beautiful bouquets. Go with your dog and sniff out a bunch of flowers that will brighten your week. (Try not to rely too much on your dog's suggestions, because dogs don't exactly have the best color vision.) Many farmer's markets have stands that prepare tasty local foods, so you can even grab yourselves a fun Mother's Day meal there. If you want a unique bouquet, Dog Lover Gift Baskets offers a very special one this time of year. It's called the Mom & Dog Mother's Day Bouquet. It looks good enough to eat - and it is! The feast for the eyes and tastebuds is a lovely bouquet made up of tasty, all-natural homemade treats for your dog, and delectable chocolates and other sweet yummies for you. It's not cheap ($79.95), but if your dog has deep pockets, it's worth the splurge.

  5. Take a great walk together. There's no better gift your dog can give you than the gift of love and health. It's as simple as getting outdoors for a heart-healthy walk. Your dog will love you for the extra time outdoors together. If you already walk a couple of times a day, go for a walk in a park or area you've been wanting to check out. Or pack a picnic and make an afternoon of it. A great way to expand your horizons when looking for fun, new places to walk your dog is to pick up a copy of a Dog Lover's Companion for your area. This award-winning series has highly readable, super helpful guidebooks for several locations throughout the US. Yours will be sure to become dog-eared in no time. What a wonderful way to make Mother's Day last all year.

About the Author: Maria Goodavage is the author of The Dog Lover's Companion to California, which is coming out in its 7th edition this spring. She is also editor of Dogster's For the Love of Dog Blog.