Happy National Pet Day! (April 11th) Everyone deserves to be celebrated, even the furry four-legged part of the family. Whether you're one of those pet parents who takes every opportunity to appreciate their pet (have you seen those pet Instagrams?) or you dread taking your dog out to do his business, (we've all been there) dogs deserve to be celebrated! After all, they love us through the good and the bad, no questions asked, so take some time to let your furry friend know just how much you adore them!
Here are 7 ways to celebrate your dog on National Pet Day:
Go for a walk
Any sort of exercise is great for your dog's health. You may not have gotten your pup the amount of exercise he needed during those cold, bitter winter months (vets recommend at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day for your pooch) but between work and school, prior commitments and extracurricular activities, sometimes that's not always possible. With Spring in full swing and the winter months finally behind us, do your dog a favor by going on a long walk to really stretch those muscles. Enjoy the sunshine and your pup's company and get out into the fresh air for a nice long walk. If you want to be extra generous, let him sniff whatever he wants without pulling him along. He'll thank you for it.
Go to the dog park
Going to the dog park can be a great alternative to going on a walk with your pup. Swap your well-worn path through the neighborhood with a trip to the dog park, where your dog can sprint as long as hard as he wants, and you don't have to worry about him running out into traffic. It's also a great way to meet other dogs and have some dog-on-dog socialization for your pooch. Some communities have specific rules and may even have fees associated with a visit, so do your research before you go out.
Give them a Luxurious bath
As humans, we all know a nice hot bath after a stressful day can be just the right thing to relax you, and while dogs may not have a lot to be stressed about, they'll always appreciate the feeling after a bath. Getting them into the bath may be a different story, but it’ll be worth it. Pamper your pooch by giving them a coconut oil scrub and brushing their coat so it really shines. They'll appreciate the TLC, and you'll appreciate the clean smell. Win-win.
Get them a new toy
Who doesn't love new toys?! Toys are great to entertain your furry friend, especially new toys! Dogs need to keep their brains active like their bodies, so toys can provide much-needed stimulation. If you've never tried a treat-dispensing toy, this can be a great alternative to regular squeaker toys, or bones.
A treat-dispensing toy makes the dog think about how to get the food out of the toy, engaging him a lot more than the typical chew toy. Another go-to is a hollow toy that you can put peanut-butter or another pet-friendly sticky food in to keep your pup entertained for a while.
Treat them with a pupcake or a doggie cookie
A lot of pet stores and even bakeries now offer "pupcakes" or other baked goods with dog-friendly ingredients to treat your dog with. You can even get personal by adding their name! You shouldn't spoil your dog too much with these because they can contain sugars and other additives that aren't great for their diet, but on National Pet Day, let them live a little! And treat yourself, too!
Celebrate with friends – have a puppy playdate
Socialization is a great outlet for dogs - and maybe even a little break for you! Letting your pup run around with a furry friend is a great way to have them burn off some energy. It’s great to play with your dog on a regular basis, but let’s be honest – it can be hard to keep up with your dog sometimes. Make a day out of it - throw a barbecue and invite a few friends and their dogs over! Good food and good company for everyone involved!
I don't know about you, but puppy cuddles are one of the more amazing things in this world, next to eating ice cream and smelling clean laundry. Grab a few blankets (that you don't mind getting some drool on), put on your favorite movie, and cuddle on the couch. Sometimes the best way to celebrate is to relax. And Fido never minds an extra belly-rub. If you sneak him some popcorn, I won't tell.