15 Ways to Spoil Your Dog: Fun & Stimulating Ideas!
By Jessica Kim
Dogs are man’s best friends for a reason. Science shows that dogs can be highly attuned to their humans and have a high level of emotional intelligence.1 They can be so great at being our friends, so it doesn’t hurt to return the favor and spoil them every so often.
Just like humans, all dogs are unique and have their own preferences and activities that they enjoy. So, we have a list of several different ideas for spoiling your dog. You’ll be sure to find something that’ll inspire you to show some extra love to your dog in a special way.
Top 15 Ways to Spoil Your Dog:
1. Buy New Toys
Hardly any dog won’t be able to resist a fun new toy. There are all kinds of toys that dogs can play with, including balls, plushies, and puzzles. If your dog isn’t very interested in toys, an easy treat dispenser can be an enticing option.
There are many benefits for your dog playing with toys. It alleviates boredom, can be a great form of exercise, and stimulates the mind. So, it doesn’t hurt to bring home another toy for your dog to enjoy.
2. Let Them Choose Their Own Toy
If you want to go the extra mile, take your dog to a pet supply store and spend some time in the toy aisle. Let your dog sniff around and buy a few toys that pique their interest. Some people have even bought every item that their dogs have touched.
If you want to spoil your dog even further, you can take them to the treat aisle and let them choose their own treats, too. Just make sure to check the ingredient lists for any allergens or low-quality ingredients.
3. Throw a Party
If your dog is very social, it may enjoy hosting a dog party. You can set up different stations with activities that dogs enjoy, such as a kiddie pool or obstacle course. Your dog may also enjoy eating a homemade, dog-friendly cake with its friends.
No party’s complete without party favors. Fun little doggie bags filled with treats, pet bandanas, and small toys are sure to be a hit and a great way to spoil multiple dogs.
4. Bake Dog Treats
Baking homemade dog treats is another way to spoil your dog and show special love and care. The benefits of homemade dog treats are that you can control all the ingredients and give your dog fresh food.
Some delicious ingredients that can go inside dog treats are apples, bananas, peanut butter, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes. If you’re feeling extra creative, you can use various cookie cutters to create fun shapes.
5. Buy a New Bed
On average, dogs spend about 50% of their day sleeping and about 30% of their day lying around. So, with all the time they spend lying down, getting them a new bed is another excellent way to spoil them and let them feel loved.
There are so many different kinds of comfy beds, as well as novelty beds with cool designs. Having a couple of different kinds of beds gives your dog the luxury of choice for how it wants to snooze and lounge around all day.
6. Go to Doggy Daycare
Dropping your dog off at doggy daycare is another fun way to spoil your social dog. Reputable doggy daycares will ensure that your dog is taken care of well, and they also provide plenty of stimulating activities to engage your dog.
Another great thing about doggy daycare is the opportunity to play with other dogs. Nothing quite tires out a dog like playing with another dog. So, your dog will come back home feeling happy and is more likely to settle down and rest for the remainder of the day.
7. Hide Treats Around the House
Food-motivated dogs and nosy dogs will love this activity. Since dogs experience much of the world through their nose, scent games are great enrichment activities for them.
If it’s your dog’s first time sniffing for treats around the home, start in a small room and hide the treats in easily noticeable places. You can also consistently say the same command each time you place this game to let your dog know that it’s supposed to sniff out treats.
As your dog becomes more familiar with the game, you can gradually expand the boundaries to the rest of your home.
8. Go for a Long Car Ride
Dogs just love spending time with their humans, so a great way to increase the amount of time you spend together is to go on car rides together. Not all dogs enjoy car rides, but the ones that do will have a blast feeling the wind through an open window. Car rides are also a great way to let your dog smell new scents and see new views.
If your dog is particularly excitable, there are plenty of car harnesses and seats that you can quickly install in your car. If you have a smaller dog, you can attach a carrier to your bike, and cycle around the neighborhood.
9. Explore the Neighborhood with a Stroller
Strollers can be a luxury for small dogs, but they’re also great options for elderly dogs or dogs with disabilities that make it difficult for them to walk. You can find all sorts of strollers for pets that have different features, such as detachable carriers and double-decker carriers.
Dogs in strollers are a fun sight to see. So, while your dog’s enjoying a comfortable ride, it’ll also be showered with a ton of affection by people passing by.
10. Get a Pet Backpack
Another great way to explore and spend time with your dog is to use a pet backpack. A good quality backpack will be cozy and help your dog feel safe.
There are a couple of different options when it comes to pet backpacks. You have traditional backpacks with straps that go on your shoulders. You can also find front-facing pouches and slings for small dogs and toy breeds. These bags are a great way to go about your day with your dog while having both hands free while running errands.
11. Go to a Pet Spa
More and more luxury pet spas are popping up in neighborhoods, especially in big cities. Your dog will feel extremely pampered as it spends a relaxing day at the spa. While pet spas offer traditional grooming services, you can often find more premium services, like facials, massages, and paw balm applications.
Your dog will surely walk out looking fresh and feeling fresh after receiving top-notch care from a professional pet spa.
12. Give Them a Massage
Your dog will also enjoy getting a massage from you. Massages are great for dogs because they can reduce anxiety and alleviate sore muscles and joints. It’s also great for getting your dog ready for exercise and helping it cool down after strenuous activity.
When massaging your dog, make sure to be gentle and use your palms to apply light pressure. Be mindful of any negative reactions from your dog, such as flinching, yelping, or growling. Many dogs also enjoy getting massaged on the base of their skull because it stimulates relaxation.
13. Dress Them Up
This might be more for your own personal enjoyment but dressing up your dog is also a fun way to spoil it. There are all sorts of clothes and costumes for dogs, and you can find some lightweight pieces that may not be as uncomfortable for your dog.
Whether your dog enjoys clothes or not, it’ll be sure to receive a ton of attention wearing a cute or quirky outfit. You can also give your dog plenty of treats to make the experience as positive as possible.
14. Have a Brunch Date
Summer weather means eating outside on restaurant patios. Many restaurants have dog-friendly outdoor seating, and some will even offer treats for your dog.
You and your dog can enjoy the nice weather together while sharing a meal. It’ll be a good idea to bring a long-lasting chew with you, like bully sticks and rawhide. Then, your dog can enjoy gnawing on a tasty treat while you enjoy eating your own meal.
15. Plan an All-Day Excursion
Plan a day filled with all the activities that your dog enjoys. This day could include long car rides and trips to the dog park, pet store, or dog-friendly hiking trails. Make sure to pack plenty of water and snacks for your dog so that it’s fueled with enough energy to play all day.
It’ll also be fun to take plenty of photos to document all the memories you’ll make together on this special day for your dog.
Dogs are wonderful companions, and it’s important to show them love and affection. Spoiling and pampering them every once in a while is a great way to create positive memories and strengthen your bond.
For the most part, dogs will enjoy just spending more time with their humans. So, whether it’s playing with an expensive new toy or spending the day on a long hike at a public park, your dog will appreciate any gesture of love from you.
Featured Image Credit: Natalia Anyukhina, Shutterstock