Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your dog.

How to Spoil Your Dog

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You love your dog, and it shows. But sometimes it's nice to give her a little extra spoiling. Here are some great ways to dote on your dog:

Go for a walk. Getting outside and sniffing new places is always fun and exciting to a dog. Do you and your dog already go on regular walks? Try taking a new route to spice up your routine. If your dog socializes well with other dogs, maybe a trip to a dog park is in order. Take a look at this slideshow for some tips on prepping for dog park visits.

Go for a drive. Most dogs enjoy taking a quick trip and seeing what is beyond the backyard. Be sure your car ride is safe with a doggie restraint harness or booster seat.

Treats for terriers—and other breeds too. Every dog loves getting a special treat. Encourage and reward good behavior with a tasty snack or by using a treat dispensing toy.

Make time for playtime. Dogs love routines. Pick a time of day that works for your schedule and start the fun. Both you and your dog will have something to look forward to every day and it may help keep you both in good shape. Keep things interesting by rotating toys—that way they’ll be new and exciting the next time you bring them out.

Help keep your dog looking good. There is nothing like a sweet-smelling dog with a shiny coat. Don't have time for a bath? Use a waterless shampoo in between baths and make time for a relaxing grooming session with a multi-purpose brush.

Naps galore. Create a napping haven by setting up a quiet place with your dog's favorite bed and a few of his most loved toys. Want to make napping an even more heavenly experience? There are lots of luxury pet beds available, like these, that seem to hug your dog while he sleeps.

Dine in style and comfort. Create the ultimate dining experience for your dog with a stylish dish or a purifying water fountain.

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Clean teeth and fresh breath. Although it may take some time to get used to, one of the best gifts you can give your dog is that of good dental health. Having healthy teeth and gums will reduce your dog's risk of developing gingivitis, improve his breath, and may even add three to five years to his life. There are dog-appealing toothpaste flavor options and toothbrush. If brushing your dog's teeth seems like too much to take on, there are also chew toys that help promote healthy teeth and gums. Take a look at this article for step-by-step tips on getting your dog used to having his teeth brushed.

Doggy-media experience. Keep your dog entertained while you're out of the house with a classical pet CD or a just-for-dogs DVD. At least one study has shown that dogs relax when exposed to classical music, 1 and Dog Sitter DVDs contain all of the sights and sounds of the great outdoors that will catch your dog's attention. You can even subscribe to DogTV, a research-backed TV channel to decrease separation anxiety in your dog while you’re gone.

The gift of your time. What your dog wants the most is some of your attention. We all have busy schedules, but not everyone is lucky enough to have the unconditional love of a dog. Take time to show your dog you care by simply giving him some love. Not only will he love you back, but the simple act of petting your dog may even help lower your blood pressure. 2 Now that's a best friend!

Works Cited

  1. Patterson-Kane, Emily G. and Farnworth, Mark J. Noise Exposure, Music, and Animals in the Laboratory: A Commentary Based on Laboratory Animal Refinement and Enrichment Forum. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. [Online] 2006.
    www.animalsandsociety.org/assets/ library/138_jaws09047.pdf.
  2. Hering, Christina. Health Benefits of Companion Animals. Health Insights Today: A Service of the Cleveland College Foundation. [Online] 2008. [Cited: October 28, 2009.]
    www.healthinsightstoday.com/articles/ v1i2/pdf/featured_animals.pdf.

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