When you bring your puppy or adopted dog home for the first time, it is just the beginning of a long life together. As time goes by, life sometimes gets in the way, and we don’t realize that we are spending less and less time with our pets. So this February, spend the month rekindling the love that you had for your dog and show them how important they are in your life.
How to Spoil Your Fuzzy Valentine All February-Long
1. Spend time with your dog
Nothing shows your pet that you care more than just spending time with them. Make it a point to pet and caress them when you first wake up. Have them do a few tricks before you feed them.
When you return from work, give them a treat when you walk in the door, then take them out for a bathroom break and a bit of play in the backyard. Play tug-of-war or fetch. It is good exercise for your dog and helps to strengthen the bond that you share.
2. Enjoy that long and winding road with your dog
It might mean crawling out of bed a little earlier, but your dog would love it if you would take them for a short walk before you head out for the day. If you can, run home for lunch and take your dog for a short, brisk walk. Or contact Rover’s Recess to provide a mid-day walk if you can’t get home. Your dog will love the attention and enjoy the fresh air.
In the evening, plan a longer walk for you and your dog. It will help you release any stress that has built up throughout the day, and your dog will benefit from the mental and physical stimulation.
3. Do you think it is too cold for dog walks?
If you think that it is too cold out for long walks, and this is especially important for short-haired dogs, buy them a jacket and give Rover’s Recess a call.
There are a variety of dog sweaters and jackets on the market, and they are reasonably priced. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, so you will be able to find the one that fits your dog and matches their personality.
And your dog will love showing off their adorable jacket to their favorite dog walker at Rover’s Recess!
4. Think out of the house
Take your dog outside and get ready to burn some calories playing fetch and other games that might be a little rough for your living room. If your dog plays catch, toss them a ball or toy and have them bring it back to you.
Some dogs get a little too excited playing tug-of-war inside, so save it for your time outside. Most will play it as long as you want to play with them. Other dogs love playing soccer, give the ball a soft kick, and they will chase it, grab it or knock it about until they are exhausted.
Have a pond or stream nearby? Take your dog for a swim or a romp in the water. This is especially good during those hot summer days. Just remember a towel if you have to drive–a wet dog can make a mess of your back seat.
5. Playdates and dog parks
You like socializing with other people, and your dog would may love to meet and play with other dogs. If you have a friend or neighbor with a dog that your dog plays well with, take your dog over for a play date. They will enjoy romping around the yard together, playing tag, etc.
You can also take them to the dog park. While not all dogs play well together, most that you will meet at the dog park are friendly and playful. Unleash your dog, and enjoy watching them running with the pack and making new friends. Like daily walks, these are both great ways to stimulate your dog’s muscles and brain, as well as to help them feel less isolated.
6. Think inside the box
Too cold outside or you don’t have a fenced yard? Play with them inside. Tug-of-war is a great way to bond and burn energy inside. Does your dog have a favorite toy? You can play hide-the-toy with them or just toss it across the room and have them bring it back.
Tricks–old and new? Grab a handful of training treats and run through their repertoire of tricks. It is a great time to teach them new tricks as well. Some suggestions are:
- Stand up
- Touch the hand
7. Variety is the spice of life
Has your dog tired of the toys they have? Think about the toys that they love to play with, and pick up a new one for them. Pick one that is small enough so they can carry it, but not so small that they will tear it up in a matter of minutes. Maybe look for one with a squeaker–a lot of dogs love to hear the toy squeak when they clamp their jaws down on it.
8. A taste for life
Experiment until you find those treats that your dog thinks are too delicious to live without, treats that are tail-wagging tasty. Keep some by the door so that when you come home, you can give them one as they greet you at the door with all their puppy kisses.
You can also use treats to reward your dog for good behavior or just because…because you love them and it makes both of you happy.
9. Vets and vaccinations
While your dog might not always agree, few things show your love for your dog more than taking care of their health. Make sure that you keep them up to date with their vaccinations and vet visits.
Dental health is important, so brush their teeth or give them treats that help to remove plaque and tartar. It will also keep their gums healthy, and healthy gums prevent bacteria from entering your dog’s bloodstream, causing a variety of infections that could damage their internal organs.
Watching their weight is very important. Packing on too many pounds strains their cardio-vascular system as well as their digestive and skeletal systems. Adjust their diet by lowering the amount of food and treats that you give them or providing them with food that is lower in calories. They might not like it at first, but they will have a better quality of life as they shed those extra pounds.
10. Hugs and kisses
When it comes to affection, few dogs can get enough. Petting your dog goes a long way to strengthen that bond that you share. Let them give you kisses when they are happy to see you, pet them while they are sitting on the couch next to you during your TV time. They love being with you and feeling your touch. It will help ease the anxiety that might have formed while you were away during the day, and it will help you to relax and lower your blood pressure as well.
Schedule a date with your dog walker
To you, spending time with your dog is to have someone else give them attention when you are away. You can’t always be there for your dog, but that doesn’t mean that they have to sit at home all alone. At Rover’s Recess, we do more than just walk your dog. We will spend quality time, petting and scratching in addition to walking them. We’ll praise them and reward them for their good behavior, the same things you would do if your schedule permitted.