This February 25th was World Spa Day. How did you celebrate?
I don’t know about you, but I could have really used an afternoon being pampered and primped. I would have loved an day full of massages, facials, and fun. I would have especially loved to share the experience with Bean.
Can you even imagine a spa designed especially for dogs and their moms! I know Ivy, my sister’s spoiled pup, would love it.
And truthfully, if you ask any of my friends, they’ll freely admit that my dogs are some of the most spoiled pooches around. Sure, all the clothing, accessories, treats, and toys might not be necessary, but nothing beats the feeling of surprising your pet with their favorite treats after a long day.
And besides, their lives are short! They deserve all the splendor and luxury that I can give them while they’re here with me. As their mom, it’s my duty to make their lives as joy and love-filled as possible.
So if you’re with me-if you ignore the petless parents who think you go a little too far overboard when pampering your prince or princess-consider some extra ways you could spoil them in celebration of World Spa Day!
Schedule an extra special grooming session
For the most pampered of pooches, consider booking your dog an appointment at your local groomers so that she can look her best.
Besides a standard bath, cut, and nail trim, you can have your groomer paint your dog’s nails with dog safe polish, add some bling or color to their fur, or provide a scented bath or skin treatment to give your pet’s new look some added oomph.
Some additional treatments that your groomer may or may not offer for clients are deshedding treatments, soaks, or facials.
Not only will your pet go home looking great, but tending to the health of your dog’s coat, skin, and nails is an important part of pet ownership.
Massage is the technique of rubbing and kneading our body’s muscles and joints to relieve tension or pain. It’s also a great stress reliever and promotes healing.
Massage is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety in reactive dogs. Check out this article from BNC Pet to if you want to learn more!
For now, all you need to know is that canine massage can be a great way to bond with your pet, pamper them, and leave them feeling more relaxed. You can also do it at home.
One of the techniques covered in BNC Pet’s article is specifically designed for stress relief. Using long strokes, start at your dog’s neck and work your way down, focusing on where your dog might feel tense.
You can also check out other techniques for pain relief and injury rehab.
Enrich their environment
Do you want to keep your dog busy? Do you want to ensure that they are as happy as possible at home? Do you value their emotional and mental wellbeing?
If so, consider building some enrichment into your pet’s environment at home.
Why is enrichment so important? Isn’t my dog content with sleeping away the day while he waits for me to get home? He might be, but enrichment helps to alleviate boredom, reducing the risk of destructive or other unwanted behaviors or anxiety.
Ideally, enrichment activities will provide your dog or cat with enough stimulation to keep them mentally sharp. It can also be a good form of exercise.
Enrichment tools can be something as simple as playing music, altering scents in your dog’s environment, or giving them something to see or watch other than the empty couch they wish you were on (for instance, providing a colorful tank full of fish is a great option for cat owners. Just make sure that the tank is secured well enough to keep little kitty out of trouble).
Other ways to enrich your pet’s environment include providing them with toys to play with, creating or providing puzzles for them to solve (snuffle mats are one of my favorite tools), working daily obedience training into your schedule, exercise, or providing your pet with treats to eat (a frozen Kong stuffed with peanut butter, cottage cheese, or yogurt, some kibble, and some fruits or veggies is a good way to keep your dog busy).
Make them a special treat
Nothing says I love you more than a delicious, home made treated baked for your pup. But what should you make? The options are endless.
For hot, summer days, consider whipping together some frozen treats made with goat’s milk, peanut butter, and blueberries. You can also stuff and pack your dog’s Kong and pop it in the freezer for a longer lasting treat. My go to is always cottage cheese mixed with bits of Bean’s kibble and some peanut butter.
Other yummy treat options for your pet include homemade broths, pet safe cakes or cupcakes, and homemade dog treats.
If you aren’t a great baker, consider buying a ready to go cake mix from the Three Dog Bakery. You can find these at local retailers like Target.
Don’t have time to make or bake something? Consider tossing in some extra goodies with your dog’s dinner. Low calorie fruit and veggies are the best option. Adding bone broths or fermented goat’s milk are also good ways to add extra flavor to the dish. Finally, you can chose to add yummy, calorie dense foods such as hot dogs, cheese, or other meets to your pet’s dish, but do so sparingly.
If you’re a tried and true cat lover, your cat might love lapping up a can of tuna or sardines.
Spend time together doing their favorite things
Spending quality time with your pet truly is the best way to show them just how much they mean to you. After all, it wasn’t all the treats, massages, toys, or other goodies that bought their affection for you in the first place. It was simply the love you gave them and the time you spent together.
Just like it’s important to nourish our human friendships, it’s important that we tend to the bonds between us and our canine and feline friends. By strengthening and tending to this bond, we ensure our pets’ well being and our own.
Some ways you can chose to spend quality time include; going for walks, play time, training sessions, and good old fashioned cuddle time on the couch. To truly make it special, consider doing some of the things your pet loves best. For instance, if your dog is a huge fan of walks in the park, make a special trip for his sake. Going that extra mile will make all the difference.