Every dog deserves pampering, and here's how to treat him to a DIY spa day at home.
One of the hip pastimes of doggy trendsetters is a trip to the latest chic dog spa. But what if you're not rolling in extra cash? Instead of spending the big bucks on one of those fancy-shmancy dog spas, you can do it yourself at home. Here's how to treat your pampered pooch to a personal spa day in the comfort of his own home.
Start with a workout
A spa day feels even more worth it after a workout. The same goes for your dog, but also comes with an added bonus; it'll help burn off some excess energy, making him easier to handle when it's time to bathe and groom. Depending on the activity level of your dog, the workout could mean a walk around the block or a romp in the dog park.
Does your dog carry a lot of stress in his shoulders due to his demanding job…as a dog? A light massage from his favorite human will do wonders for his relaxation. When you're giving your dog a massage, set up an area on the floor, a table, the couch or a bed, whatever is most comfortable for both of you. Start at the top of your dog’s head and work your way down his neck, making circular motions with your fingers (don't press too hard; keep your touch light). Stay away from his stomach area (unless it's for a scratch), take your time and listen to your dog's body language.
If you're new to the art of nail clipping, keep it short and sweet. Cut a little off each nail and keep a spoon of peanut butter or other treat handy to distract your pooch from what's going on. With the two of you sitting on a flat surface, grip your dog’s paw firmly, with clippers in your dominant hand and your dog’s paw in the other (your thumb should be on the bottom of his pad). Once you place the clippers where you want to cut, squeeze the trimmers in one swift motion.
Before you run the water, have everything you need ready to go. That includes towels, shampoo/conditioner, and a comb or brush. And don't put away the peanut butter just yet. If you want to entice your dog to stay put, smear a bit on the back or side of the tub. This will keep him busy while you rub-a-dub. Before getting wet, go over his coat with a light brushing (to get the tangles out). Rinse him off with water and get scrubbing.
Grab a towel and rub your dog down. Be warned: no matter how much towel drying is involved, your dog will still shake the excess water from his fur. And if he's anything like my dog, he'll run around like crazy, wiping his face on every piece of fabric furniture you own. If you're using a hairdryer, always set it to the lowest heat setting and the slowest speed intensity. Keep the hairdryer a few inches away from him, as it doesn't take much to burn his sensitive skin.
Finish off with a treat
Your dog did such a good job, he deserves a treat!
Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.