Pampering is about more than a quick visit to the groomers or adding some ribbons to your furry one's hair. True pampering is all about making your dog healthier and happier for the long run. So if you're looking for ways to pamper Fido, go ahead and give out kisses and put on ribbons, but also make some time for some real pampering with some long-term results.
Start With Some Spa Treatments
A clean doggie is a happy doggie. If yours is not a fan of taking a bath, you can make the pampering more enjoyable by changing the surroundings. For example, some dogs don't like being bathed in the bathtub because it's slippery. Placing a rubber mat on the bottom of the tub or doing the bathing outside can be good options. Once Doggie is clean -- use both shampoo and conditioner for extra pampering -- grab a big soft towel and dry him as much as possible. Then put another towel on the living room floor and ask Doggie to lie down so you can comb, brush and cut his nails.
Replace Worn-Out Products
Over time, pet beds get flattened and worn out. That means they no longer hold your pet's weight evenly -- which could be a source of pain if your dog is large or a senior with joint or bone problems. So pamper him with a new bed. Special orthopedic beds are a good option for older pets, or you can buy self-warming beds or small soft kennels if your pet likes to sleep "hiding away." A new soft collar, raised food and water bowls and some high-quality chew toys -- so you can take away rawhide, which can be a chocking hazard -- are also good options to make the pampering long-term, rather than something that only lasts a few minutes.
Try a Massage
A session with a certified pet masseuse will not only be great pampering, but it can also help with muscle strains and pains and to aid in relaxation. In fact, a good massage can help release toxins, activate the lymphatic system and help release tension. For older dogs, it can help ease pain and stiffness. For extra pampering, learn how to do the massages yourself so you'll get that extra connection with him.
Schedule a Day Out
For the ultimate pampering -- the kind that leaves you with a happy, happy dog -- take Rover to the park, the beach or doggie camp. Even better, bring a dog-friendly picnic along, complete with a bowl and fresh water, some all-natural dog treats, a bouncy ball to chase and a nice blanket to lie on when it's time for a break.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.