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7 Ways to Pamper your Pooch
Monday January 2nd 2017
We all deserve being treated every now and again. A shoulder rub, a glass of wine, even just a kind note to let us know we’re appreciated.
Your four-legged friend is no different. Treating your pup once in a while will let them know how special they are to you, plus it’s a great way to bond and keep anxiety at bay. Here are a few great ways to do just that…
1. New Toys
Researchers at Bristol University’s anthrozoology department say dogs have “intense but transient neophilia”. This means they have a strong affinity with new objects as opposed to familiar ones, and they can become bored with toys very quickly.
A new toy is a great way to spoil your pooch and you may not have to break the bank. Give the old toys a wash to get rid of any familiar scent and then rotate them every so often. Your pup will be none the wiser.
2. Day at the Park
Catching a Frisbee, energetic runs without a lead, other dogs to play with – there’s a lot of fun to be had at the park. Being out and about also stimulates your doggy’s brain, with so many new smells, sights and sounds to experience.
Of course, this only works if your dog is well behaved while off its lead and good at socialising with other pups, but there are alternatives, such as:
• a hike in the countryside
• a game of ball on an empty piece of land
• on-leash exercise such as running, jumping small walls or stairs
3. Doggy Spa Day
Tie in the chore of grooming your pup with some one-on-one time and affection.
Giving your dog a good brush and stroking at the same time. They will love the attention and it will get rid of any tangles or clumps of hair.
Give them a bath. Try and use toys to keep your pup interested in the water and always make sure it’s at a nice, lukewarm temperature so they’re comfortable.
Use a dog-friendly shampoo and use the lathering process to massage your pup for as long as you can. Then rinse off.
Give your dog a relaxing rub with a towel for a few minutes, to dry off any excess water, then leave their fur to air-dry.
If you fancy going all-out then you can opt for a doggy spa day
A swim is great exercise and lots of fun for your pup, and is also a great way to keep cool in warm weather.
Canine hydrotherapy is an important tool in post-operative rehabilitation and alleviating symptoms associated with chronic conditions. However, it also prompts general fitness and guards against degenerative joint conditions.
While some canine hydrotherapy pools will allow fit and healthy pooches in for a swim, there are other options that are perhaps more cost-effective.
Visit a dog-friendly beach and let your pup go for a paddle in the shallow surf, get a pool for your own back garden or find a dog-friendly pool in your area.
Safety tip: Some breeds of dog do not swim, so be sure to introduce your pooch slowly to the water, keep an eye on them at all times and if you’re concerned, invest in a doggy lifejacket that will help them stay afloat.
5. A Long Car Ride
Head out of the window, ears and fur blowing in the wind, a heightened feeling of adventure as to where they’ll end up… many dogs love to ride in the car, and it’s a cheap way to treat them to something they enjoy.
The excitement of fast, shiny cars overtaking, people in cycle lanes on their bikes and other pups lazily walking by all add to the feeling of adventure as your doggy gazes out the window and takes it all in. However, the stimulation of visual cues is nothing compared with the fascinating combination of smells in the air…
Dogs have around 300 million olfactory receptors, the sensors that pick up smell, compared with around six million in humans, according to Professor Alexandra Horowitz in the New York Times.
As your car whizzes by with the windows open, your pooch will pick up hundreds, even thousands of different smells and this stimulates the senses, opening up a whole host of new and exciting adventures to be had.
Not all dogs like travelling, and some may even suffer from motion sickness or anxiety, so it’s important to recognise whether your pup is enjoying time in the car or if they would rather go for a long walk instead.
It’s also important to follow the UK Highway Code and ensure your dog is suitably restrained in the vehicle and wouldn’t distract the driver or injure them if the car has to stop quickly. Car harnesses secure your pooch to a seatbelt or a dog guard for the boot or back seat will keep your pet safely contained.
6. A New Bed
No one should underestimate the benefits of a good night’s sleep and your dog’s sleeping quarters should be given the same consideration.
A pup’s bed is its own private space and gives them a sense of security while providing comfort and ¬bolstering – a particular benefit for older dogs that need extra joint support.
Take Goldilocks’ lead and ensure you get a bed that’s just the right size. A large dog will not be comfortable in a bed that’s too small just as a smaller dog will feel insecure in a bed that’s too big.
7. Luxury Pet Resorts
If money’s no object, why not splash out on some deluxe accommodation for your beloved pet?
Your pooch will be treated like royalty at a luxury pet resort, which will typically offer first-class boarding, comfortable beds, as well as grooming and recreational activities to keep your doggy entertained and spoiled with attention.