5 Holistic Ways to Spoil Your Dog
We bring dogs into our human world because we love them with our hearts and souls. We ask them to adjust. Some do, many can’t. As responsible pet parents, it’s up to us to provide ways to help make our crazy human world more manageable for them.
August 10 is National Spoil Your Dog Day. While there are an infinite ways to spoil your dog, here are my suggestions for creating a well-balanced dog. I don’t regard any of these as spoiling your dog, but just treating Buster respectfully. They spend so much of their time observing us and fitting into our world, it’s equally important that we provide them the same appreciation.
As humans, we have the option of taking yoga class, drinking green tea and meditating. Providing holistic treatments for your dogs is a way of doing the same. Research shows that stressed dogs live shorter lives. So think of pampering as extending their lives.
1. D.I.Y. Dog Treats or Order BarkBox
Whether your dog fancies Pumpkin Squeaks or Cleo’s Pumpkin Dog Biscuits, it’s easy making your own dog treats while saving money. And you won’t have to wonder whether any ingredients were sourced from China that could poison your pup. Best to use all organic and make sure that the peanut butter doesn’t include xylitol, which is often lethal for dogs.
Another option is BarkBox, a monthly or yearly treat box comprised of toys, chewies and tasty treats you can order online for your pup. No more wandering the pet store wondering what your dog will inhale in five seconds or just toss aside—Barkbox picks goodies from an assortment of local and small businesses to fit your dog’s needs—and create major mailman excitement for your dog.
2. Silent Meditation Walk
Have you ever walked with your dog in total silence? It’s very interesting just trying to observe the world from their point of view. Allow Buster to stop and sniff to his heart’s content. Taking in the scents gives him all sorts of information and provides enrichment for him.
3. Enroll in a Sport Together
If you have an athletic dog, she might love dog agility. It’s a team sport in which a handler directs a dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. Dogs run off leash, and treats and toys are used in training, but not in competition. Any breed can do it, no matter the size. Best to make sure they are in good physical shape first. Other fun, popular sports and activities include dock diving, canine freestyle, disc dogs, fly ball, lure coursing, tracking and nose-work. Find one that your dog loves and you will be amazed at the bonding it creates with you.
4. Environmental Enrichment
Providing environmental enrichment helps stimulate Buster’s mind. There are a variety of ways to enhance a dog’s environment. Many of these have often helped dogs with behavior challenges, as they can relieve boredom. Some examples are food puzzles, music designed to calm the canine nervous system, calming sprays, rotating their toys and limit access to all of them at once, and teaching them new tricks.
5. Canine Massage
Dogs reduce our stress. Canine massage is a way of giving back to them so that we reduce theirs. Veterinarian Narda Robinson, Director at Colorado State University’s Center for Comparative and Integrative Pain Medicine, teaches classes on canine massage. She believes that administered with science knowledge, canine massage can help dogs recover from injuries, illness and stress.
How do you spoil your dog? Thanks for adding your holistic suggestions in a comment below.
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