They’re our companions and our best friends, they offer unconditional love and support and ask for almost nothing in return. With International Dog Day coming up on the 26th of August we thought it would be a great opportunity to look at some simple, low cost DIY Pet Pampering Tips for your best friend.
While there are many things that you can do that require very little effort such as taking them to a spa, a holiday in a fancy hotel or getting them the latest cool toy we want to focus on DIY pet pampering. There are a couple of reasons for this.
Firstly, spas, treats and fancy new toys can be quite expensive, and that’s on top of the usual costs of pet ownership. A recent study published in the New York Post reports that pet owners spend on average $2260 every year. And that’s just the average – when you add pet pampering to this, the costs can quickly become prohibitive to the average person.
Secondly, your pets deserve your attention every day and not just on special occasions. More than anything your pet desires your love and attention and any pampering you do should be an opportunity to bond. These DIY pet pampering tips have been selected to ensure you spend more quality time with your best friend.
We mentioned dog and kitty spas above, these can be a lot of fun and some of them offer absolutely adorable experiences, but if you’re someone on a budget or you think spending thirty dollars on a “pawdicure” is a bit over the top, we’ve got good news for you. It’s actually super simple to give your pet a pampering spa treatment at home.
Plan your Spa Day in advance, make sure you have everything you need for the day from brushes through to an after spa treat. Below you can find a six step spa treatment, but it’s important to remember that every dog is different so adapt it according to your pooch’s
One of the best pieces of advice we can give you is to start your spa treatment with a physical activity. This may seem counterintuitive at first, after all, aren’t spas meant to relax? But by engaging in your pups favourite type of play you will get their heart rate up and they will respond better to the treatment in general.
Next you want to give them a massage, this will help relax muscles that have been warmed up by the exercise. Start at the head and moving in a soft, gentle, circular motion. Next make sure your dog lies down and continue rubbing in gentle circles working the muscles, do this slowly and with care and your pup will love it.
Next up you want to give your pup a pedicure if necessary. Be sure to use a set of pet nail clippers and be very careful not to cut the wick of the nail as this can hurt your pet and cause bleeding.
Pro Tip: If your dog has longer fur poke their nails through some cling wrap, it will hold the fur back giving you easier access to the nails.
Run the bath while you are performing the pedicure, that way you can ensure that the temperature is just right. Use a conditioning shampoo that strengthens their coat and leaves them smelling beautiful.
After you have patted your dog dry, give his coat a good brush. This should be done from head to tail. Once again be soft and gentle using slow motions so as not to hurt him.
End the spa experience by giving your pup a treat. This can be a wide variety of things depending on their preference, but we recommend giving them something healthy and yummy. You can get some ideas from our next section on making your own treats.
Cats are a bit different to dogs, they are constantly grooming and cleaning themselves and they also give themselves manicures whenever needed by scratching on things. But that doesn’t mean they don’t love pampering. Developing a brushing ritual with your cat will not only help develop the bond you share, but also helps reduce hairballs, which is good for kitty’s health and wellbeing. When it comes to scratching there are many great cat posts available, but why not make one yourself? If you don’t know where to start, check out this cool video showing you how to make your own scratching post.
Dog treats are a great way to show your best friend how happy you are with them or reward them for positive behaviour. While there are many fantastic treats on the market, more and more pet parents are choosing to bake their own healthy and delicious treats for their dog. There are many benefits to making your own dog treats at home such as being able to ensure that they are organic and wholesome and saving money by making larger quantities. Take a look at this article put together by Pet Wellness Advisor for a comprehensive guide on Homemade Dog Treats and Recipes.
Please always remember to treat your pets responsibly. Treats should be given to reinforce positive behaviour and be a special moment with your pet. They should not be used to “buy” affection.
Animals love the scent of their human; it can be a real comfort to them especially when you are away from home. That’s why there are so many DIY pet ideas that use old T-shirts to create everything from toys to pillows and pet beds. We found this really cool video that shows you how to make dog toys out of old T-shirts and tennis balls. Or why not make a bed for a smaller dog or cat. Once again all you need is an old T- shirt and some sewing know how.
Anyone who has watched their cat play with a card board box or their dog chewing on that old shoe, knows that our animals aren’t picky when it comes to toys. Sure every pup or kitty is different and might like different things, but that’s even more reason to not break the bank on expensive toys when there are so many great DIY options.
The Puppy Rattle
Take an old sock, a water bottle and some un-popped popcorn kernels. First remove the cap from the water bottle (make sure it’s clean and the plastic has been removed) and pour the kernels into the bottle until it is about one inch full. Then put the lid back on and tie the water bottle up in the sock. And that’s it! You now have a really great toy that you can shake to get your pet’s attention.
The Feather & Bell
Cats also love toys with an auditory quality. This feather and bell toy is purrfect for cats (and especially kittens) who love chasing and pouncing. Made from wool felt, a keyring, a bell and some string it’s really simple to create. The texture of the wool felt and the sound of the bell will keep kitty interested and running around for hours.
Mice themed cat toys are a really great way to create something your kitty will want to hunt. This goes deeper than the old Tom and Jerry cartoons. Mice toys are the perfect size for cats to play with when they are on their own. They can be batted about, thrown in the air and pounced on at any moment. The cardboard mouse is virtually free to make, and it’s the perfect size and weight for kitty to play with and can be easily replaced. Alternatively, if you know your way around a sewing machine you can make these cute little mice from recycled clothing.
We know your pets favourite place is by your side, but it can be really fun and enriching to create a special place in (or outside your home) for your dog or cat.
Every dog is different, some prefer to sleep outside and some inside, some like their own bed and others love yours. There are many great DIY videos available showing you how to make your own bed for your pet, but this one really caught our eye.
Cats like confined or elevated places. This is an instinctual defense mechanism but in the home setting it helps them feel comfortable in their space. We found this great article on makezine that shows you how to create 7 DIY cat cribs for your favourite feline friend.
While it may not seem like pampering in the traditional sense, a healthy pet is able to live a fuller and happier life. That’s why it’s important to take all the necessary measures to ensure your dog or cat are in tip top health. While there are many things you can do to keep your pets healthy, including exercise and proper diet, perhaps the most important is finding a vet that is suited to you and your pet. Having someone who knows your pet and is knowledgeable about their care can be a tremendous resource to you.
We’ve said it many times in this article, but we really can’t emphasise it enough – the most valuable thing you can give your pet is your time. Between work, family, social commitments and the general pace of life, it can be really tough to find that one-on-one time with your best friend. But there is no substitute for your attention. That’s why when it comes to pet pampering it’s so important to plan your activities around your furry friend. Whether that’s throwing the ball in a local park or snuggling up to watch some Netflix, it’s as important for you as it is for them.
Further Reading on Pet Pampering & General Pet Wellness:
Mouse Toy Image Source: Martha Stewart
Pet access has never been this easy.
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Pet access has never been this easy.
PetLatch™ for dogs is simply an adjustable lockable latch that allows you to turn any door into a dog door. With PetLatch™ for dogs you can leave any door open but locked! Whatever it’s made of and whichever way it opens.
Adjustable between 5.7” and 9” it’s an ideal and less expensive alternative to a doggy door. Made from C304 stainless steel, your PetLatch™ comes with a lifetime guarantee.