The life of a dog isn’t all belly rubs and tennis balls. Our four-legged kids deal with their own kinds of stress, and their anxiety levels can have a real impact on their health and happiness. As their dog mom, it’s your job to do what you can to make them feel comfortable, relaxed, and cared for. Some dogs are more anxious than others, but all of our canine friends deserve special love and attention. When you pamper your pets, you focus on things that make them happy and healthy. You take time out of your day to return their unconditional love and show them the best life possible.
Here are a few simple ways you can care for your four-legged family members.
1. Complete their pedicure with paw balm.
So many dogs suffer from dry, and even cracked, paw pads. Their paws go through a lot of abuse, and they rarely get any attention. You can pamper your pet and take away your dog’s paw-related pain by making paw balm part of your regular routine.
An all-natural paw balm will moisturize the tough skin of your dog’s paws and prevent tightness and cracking. If your dog likes to be active and spend time outside, paw balm will be a saving grace. It protects their paw pads and makes them feel more comfortable in their own skin. I like using Pet MD Pet Balm on my dog, Bailey. It absorbs quickly, and i can also use it on her dry nose and elbow calluses.
2. Give them a massage.
Who here loves when someone voluntarily offers to rub your shoulders or massage your feet? It feels so good, and even if it only lasts a few minutes, it puts you in a better mood. The same goes for our dogs. Between all the games of fetch and sleeping in strange (but adorable) positions, our dogs get sore and stiff. That’s especially true for all our older pets.
Massaging can reduce stress, stimulate better blood flow, relieve pain, and it even improves your bond. It’s the perfect form of pampering that will have lasting effects on your dog’s well-being. Start by gently massaging your dog’s neck, shoulders, and back. Doing this for only 10 minutes a day will make your dog feel so loved.
3. Get rid of those knots, tangles, and mats.
Pampering your pet isn’t all that different from pampering yourself. A trip to the salon can leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed, and a good groom does the same for your dog. Your playful pup might not care that their fur looks like the definition of bedhead, but basic grooming keeps them comfortable and pain-free.
For long-haired dogs, mats and tangles can pull at the skin and cause pain. When it gets bad, the slightest movements can be distressing. Even short-haired dogs need regular grooming to keep them comfortable. Your dog’s grooming needs will depend on their type of fur, but putting a brush through their fur is a great form of pampering.
4. Splurge on a comfy bed.
As much as your dog loves the sunny spot on the floor, they’ll appreciate a comfy orthopedic bed even more. Laying on the floor is hard on your dog’s bones and joints. And as our pets get older, they need the extra support that comes with a high-quality bed. Even if you give your pup free access to your own mattress, they could still use a dog bed of their own.
When shopping for a dog bed, you’ll likely get what you pay for. You want a bed that will last longer than a month and support your dog’s full weight. Look for something with real orthopedic memory foam to truly pamper your pet.
5. Do something they love.
To really show your dog how much you care, plan an outing or activity that is completely selfless. If your dog’s all-time favorite activity is playing fetch, put down your phone and invest your full attention into their fun. And when the ball comes back slobbery and gross, pick it up anyway. Remember, this time is about your dog, not you.
You obviously don’t want to encourage anything that puts your dog’s safety at risk, but let them do whatever it is that makes them happiest. Go for a hike, take them to the lake, or let them sniff the breeze from the backseat of the car.
6. Reward them with healthy treats.
For the food-motivated dog, a new kind of healthy treat will always get their tail wagging. And even though your chow-hound might gobble up a cheap treat as quickly as a homemade meal, nutrition will always play a role in how you pamper your pet. Most treats are made with fillers, chemicals, and artificial flavors. They’ll make your dog happy in the moment, but they won’t do anything for their overall well-being.
It’s like after you binge eat an entire bag of chips in one sitting. You might have enjoyed the process, but you know you’ll regret it later. You’ll do your dog a favor by finding nutritional treats with limited ingredients. They won’t know it, but each bite will support lifelong health and happiness.
Pampering your pet is something you can do in only a few minutes a day. It won’t take much effort, but your dog will always appreciate the extra attention. They give you unconditional love and undying loyalty, so it’s about time you returned the favor.
What’s your favorite way to pamper your pet? Let us know in the comments below!
Looking for ways to get your kids involved in taking care of your pets? Check out our article on 5 fun ways your kids can help with your pets here.