This is a guest post by national Pet Wellness & Lifestyle expert Jenn Fadal. She resides in Tampa, FL with her husband, son, and their two rescued fur kids. In addition to owning her own holistic pet food market, Wag, for ten years, Jenn launched ThePackMom.com, a destination for pet parents. Jenn’s goal is to make life easier for pet parents by imparting her knowledge of pet wellness and lifestyle in an easy, entertaining and real way. Just hearing the words “spa day” immediately brings a smile to my face and my shoulders seemingly become 100lbs lighter. They just might be two of my favorite words in the English language. How about you? Relaxing by way of massage, exercise, and delicious food are on the top of my list. Throw in a mani/pedi, smooth music and soothing scents and I am one happy girl. When it comes to giving our dogs a spoil me rotten kind of day, why not mimic the above? First things first, skip the grooming appointment and try a DIY doggie spa day experience.
- Get moving– whether a power walk or a casual stroll, let your dog lead the way this time- with his most keen superpower- his nose!Into paddle boarding, kayaking or even Yoga with your dog? Go for it. The caveat is to do something your dog already likes. No need to introduce anything new and stressful during their day of relaxation.
- Dog massage- this is one of my favorite things to do with my dogs. Massage is especially good for active dogs or senior dogs as they might have achy limbs. At my house this holds true. With one older, active and achy dog and the other just plain achy, massage is part of our routine.Begin with long gentle strokes the length of your dog. This will help warm up the body. Next, lightly pet the specific areas that might be painful. Finally, place your hands on the stiffer areas and apply light compressions. Breathing and counting as you go. This will help move fluid into those areas and relieve some of the discomfort.When I learned dog massage, the key was to never apply more pressure than the weight of a nickel. Thus, not very much at all.In pain or not, I bet most dogs would welcome a light massage or at least a prolonged pet by their favorite person.
- Bath time- before you bathe, a good old- fashioned brushing is in order. This will remove dead hair, old skin, dirt and bacteria that can lead to skin infections.Next, gently wet down your dog with lukewarm water. Remember, a dog’s normal temperature is already a few degrees higher than ours so using warm water –not hot– is safest. Use a calming shampoo like Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo and lather up your pup!
- Pawicure- most dogs don’t enjoy getting their nails trimmed. If this is your dog, skip the trimming and go straight for those pads. Choose a balm especially made to heal dry pads or grab the nearest jar of coconut oil. Put the oil or balm in between your fingers and gently rub into the paw pads, moisturizing as you go.
- Cuisine- Spa days are about relaxation but also about food, right? Deliciously healthy is my motto. When it comes to our dogs’ special day, why not include something out of the ordinary.If your dog’s tummy can handle a special treat, perhaps make healthy dog cookies or even a puppy cake. Better yet, boil a bit of fresh meat to add to their everyday dinner. And of course, make sure to give them their favorite treat.If your dog needs to remain on his same diet for digestive reasons, a spa day might be the perfect day to begin giving him a Vet’s Best Probiotic Soft Chew. With continued use, your dog’s digestive track might become more stable, enabling him to welcome a special, out of the ordinary treat on his next spa day.
Enjoy your dog spa day and let us know if you try a few of these techniques. I bet if you do, your dog will say in his own special way, “Mom/dad, you had me at spa day.”