Jazz up their kibble
Most of us get cravings and eat different foods every day but dogs tend to have the same kibble every day of their lives. Sounds boring, right? Aside from any human snacks they may receive during the day their food is definitely not as special as they are. Show your dog some love and sprinkle their kibble with some delicious toppings. Harrison loves berries, banana, and apple on his kibble in the morning and never turns away some carrots, green beans, and broccoli on his kibble at dinner time. So if you love your little pup then start showing him/her extra love at meal time. They will get so excited and plus they are getting all the extra goodness from the fresh fruits and vegetables. Rather than putting cheese, meat, and processed snack foods into Harrison’s body we give him fresh fruits and vegetables (with the exception of a few that aren’t good to dogs - be aware of these foods and check with your local vet before making any diet changes in your dog’s life.) He feels special at breakfast and dinner time because his food is way more than a boring bowl of kibble - it is a proper meal. Bonus points if you put it in a super cute dog dish!
Skip the processed dog cookies
Have you ever looked at the ingredients in dog cookies? There can be a lot of mysterious ingredients that you probably wouldn’t want to put in your own body so you most likely shouldn’t put them into your dog’s body. Most dog cookies have wheat, cheese or other dairy products, and many added chemicals and fillers in them. Some companies are also making their dog treats in other countries or buying the ingredients from other countries that do not have standards as high as what yours should be for your pup. You should know exactly what you are putting into your dog’s body because their health is just as important as yours. Your dog may like these cookies but trust me if you start making your own dog treats he/she will love the homemade treats so much more and be healthier. You’re probably thinking that you don’t have time to make dog treats which is why you buy them in the first place. Once you find a recipe you like you can make a big batch in about an hour and then you will have cookies for weeks! Just store them in an air tight jar and you have cookies to spoil your dog with whenever you want! There are so many simple recipes out there for homemade dog treats. You can find some that have your dog’s favorite flavors like pumpkin, peanut butter, or apple. Harrison is a big fan of peanut butter in all of its forms. Check out our Pinterest board here for some of Harrison’s favorite recipes. Note: in all the recipes that call for eggs we always substitute 1/3 cup of pumpkin or applesauce because eggs are no good for humans or dogs and we generally use oat flour instead of wheat flour because wheat is also not as healthy as you may think.
Find a bed fit for a king (or a queen)
While Harrison has about five or six dog beds throughout the house and he considers both my bed and Kel’s bed as his and he likes to sit up in the big armchair he has more than enough choices of where to lay his head. But if you’re looking to not be as dog crazy as we are and still make your dog feel like royalty then I will suggest to you Harrison’s favorite dog bed. We found a BeautyRest memory foam XL dog bed at TJ Maxx just over a year ago and Harrison loves it. Seriously I wish I could sleep on it - it is soft, thick, and just so comforting. He loves laying his head on the raised edge when he wants to relax but also keep an eye on us and it is also perfect for when he wants to curl up like a peanut and gets some serious zzz’s in. The memory foam and padded sides are great for body and joints so he can relax comfortably. We will always get him a memory foam bed like this because as he ages it is so important for him to have a place to sleep that keeps his joints and body safe while he is resting. I am so grateful we found this bed at TJ Maxx for about $60 because they are a little pricey if you buy them at original retail price. I found this one on Amazon from Beauty Rest which is comparable to what we have for just under $100. Your dog will be so thankful if you treat them to a comfortable bed and don’t worry, you don’t have to buy it regularly - the bed should last for at least 2 years before it may need replacing.
Let your pup decide the course for today’s walk
Instead of just letting your dog out in the yard or taking your dog on your predetermined morning run with you try letting him/her decide where they want to take their walk. Exercise is very important for your dog’s health but it should also be fun. Harrison feels so special when we let him go on a sniff (we call it that since his hound nose spends more time sniffing than his legs do walking) and he wags his tail so joyfully! Your dog will really feel valued if you let him/her walk peacefully in whichever direction they want. Use this time to bond with your pup and really take in the area around you. If you try out a new park or area let your dog sniff and find a fun trail to explore. It is important to keep your dog on a leash while in a new area but you can keep it loose and let them lead you. Letting your dog lead for a bit lets them feel valued and appreciated!
take them shopping!
It is 2019 - more and more stores are opening up to animals. We love taking Harrison with us everywhere we go and he is more than happy to tag along. First of all a car ride with his favorite humans is a great way to spend his afternoon. Plus he loves getting in the shopping cart and browsing for new toys! Check around your area for stores that allow animals to come shopping with you. Our favorites in our area are Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, Homegoods, Marshall’s, and even Home Depot. Spending extra quality time with your pup no matter what you are doing is exactly what they always want.
Ever since Harrison was a puppy we have carried on this ritual of a ‘group hug’. Either Kel or I will hug each other and anyone else in the room and yell out ‘group hug!’ Harrison runs and jumps up to get in on the group hug. This then ends up with us giving him love and attention, lots of kisses, and usually ends with Harrison on his back getting belly rubs (his fav). Harrison is truly a member of our family; he is our baby! Any chance we get to show him love with belly rubs, kisses, ear massages, or playing with toys we take it! Try something like this with your dog to create moments throughout the day dedicated to showing them love!
If there are any other things you do to spoil your dog please let us know in the comments below! We are always looking for new ways to spoil Harrison. If you want more dog themed posts let us know and share this with all your dog parent friends.