Looking for a few ways to spoil your dog without compromising his health? Look no further.
August 10th marks National Spoil Your Dog Day – and we bet you want to take advantage! However, it’s easy to pamper your pooch without considering his wellbeing. Keep his best interests in mind with this list of safe, healthy suggestions:
1. Prepare his food from scratch
Good nutrition is essential for every living being – including your dog! Preparing his meals from scratch allows you to customize his nutrition to meet his individual needs in a fresh and healthy way. It’s important to note that if you decide to prepare all of his meals, ensure they are balanced. You can learn how to cook for your dogs in the Animal Wellness natural cookbook for dogs.
2. Make him some homemade treats
Just like preparing your dog’s meals at home, you can spoil him by cooking healthy and natural dog treats in the comfort of your own kitchen. No need to worry about recalls when you make them yourself!
3. Daily brushing and grooming
By brushing your dog, you are able to connect on a very intimate level. Tell your dog how handsome he is as you alternate petting and brushing. Grooming your dog daily isn’t just a way to pamper your dog, but a valuable tool to ensure that he remains in tip-top shape. Daily hands-on touching also allows you to look for lumps and bumps and note any sensitivities your dog may have.
4. Daily play sessions
Playing is a fantastic way to build a lasting and enjoyable relationship with your dog. Dog-behavior and dog-play research has shown us that a good play-relationship leads to love and mutual respect. And let’s face it, we all like to play fun games!
5. Regular walks
Dog walking is much more than physical exercise – it’s about improving his mental health by engaging the senses. There truly is no better way for your dog to get out, sniff around, and stimulate his mind than by taking him on regular walks. If your dog has special needs and can’t walk, consider buying him a dog stroller!
6. Dog-friendly outings
Bored of walking? Take your pup on a dog-friendly outing! Find a store or restaurant that allows dogs –most pet stores welcome pets – and go on a “date”. You may be surprised to find out that some local independently-owned stores and cafés welcome your well-behaved canine. Just be sure to call around and ask prior to jumping into the car.
7. Dog massage
Canine massage help promote a healthy body and mind. In fact, massaging your dog can help with everything from behavioral issues to pain, joint flexibility, and neurological disorders. There are numerous branches of canine massage therapy and schools of training, but you can start by watching a few free online videos for technique ideas. When in doubt, ask your holistic veterinarian for a referral to a canine massage professional in your area.
8. Dog-friendly vacations
While it’s great to take your dog along on vacation with you, why not spoil him by planning a trip just for him? Research a destination that has dog-friendly activities, attractions, or adventures that your dog would love. Plan to spend the entire trip doing things he enjoys. Don’t wait until your dog’s a senior to start crossing items off his bucket list. Do it now!
9. Enrichment chews
Most dogs enjoy a good chew. But a lot of the dog chews and bones on the market today are far from healthy or safe. Raw meaty bones, bully sticks, dehydrated fish skins, and rubber toys filled with healthy foods tend to be good choices.
10. Throw a puppy party
If your dog is social, throwing him a people-only or dog-and-people party can be a real treat. He can be the center of attention! A dog party is a great way for your dog to have fun and feel spoiled and special. For more ideas on throwing your dog a puppy party, read “How to throw a doggone good dog party”.
Tonya Wilhelm is a dog training and cat care specialist who has traveled the US promoting positive ways of preventing and managing behavior issues with a holistic approach. Named one of the top ten dog trainers in the US, she has helped thousands build happy relationships with their dogs with humane, positive training methods. She wrote Proactive Puppy Care, and other books. Tonya offers group and private dog training classes, provides training and behavior services via phone and online, and does workshops at pet expos (raisingyourpetsnaturally.com).