I am not ashamed to admit I call my dogs and cats my “fur-babies.” Since my children have moved out and my husband and I are empty-nesters, my attentions and affections have turned more to my pets than they were before — ask my family and they will tell you it was already over-the-top. 

If you’re looking for fun and easy ways to spoil your dog or if you’re looking for new and different ways to spoil your dog, here are my top five. Believe me, I have many more than five! 

Your dogs, and mine, have needs that are very simple. They want to be loved, played with, fed well and taken care of. Those are all easy for a pet parent to comply with. These five items are those that go above and beyond the usual care and love we give our fur-kids.

5 Easy, Fun Ways To Spoil Your Dog

New clothes. My poodle loves clothes. In the beginning she wasn’t so sure, now she walks over to her clothes drawer if it’s raining out and waits until I get a jacket on her. I buy her clothes for her birthday and when I see something cute. She has Halloween costumes and clothes for holidays. I may be dressing her for my edification, but she doesn’t seem to mind them, so her wardrobe continues to expand. 

Birthday party. I throw a birthday party for my pups. We don’t invite any doggie friends because my dogs don’t have a lot of friends and they have no desire to share their birthday party treats with others. For my dog’s birthdays I buy them a new toy, they get a pup-cake (a dog-friendly, organic treat). To be honest, no matter who is having the birthday, the other dog gets a new toy and a treat. The birthday pup is the only one who wears the birthday hat and gets his or her picture taken in the birthday get-up. 

Good food and healthy treats. Feed your dog food that your veterinarian recommends. Good food will keep your dog healthy for a life time. If your dogs love treats — and what dog doesn’t?! — feed high quality treats. Make sure you don’t over-treat your dog. Obesity is an issue with dogs and can lead to other health concerns. Give your dog a pea-sized treat or feed her pieces of fruits and vegetables as a healthy alternative to store-bought snacks.  

Adventures. Dogs love riding in cars. Dogs love going for walks. Some dogs love going to dog parks and others love doggie play dates. In addition to socializing your dog you will be giving her exercise and that keeps her healthy and her weight under control. Keep your dog on leash so he doesn’t run away and get lost or get into traffic. We’ll bet that when you grab the leash or your car keys your dog wriggles in excitement at the potential of an adventure. When you take your dog for a walk let him sniff and explore. Our dogs live their lives through their snouts so let them take in the scents and truly immerse themselves in the walk. We don’t recommend letting them roll in dead things, as they like to do, unless they like getting a bath! 

Combine the walk with a rousing game of fetch or other game your dog loves. 

Belly rubs. Our dogs love to feel our hands on their bodies. They love belly rubs. They enjoy having their ears massaged. I am continually running my hands over my dogs’ body. I massage her back, stroke her legs, rub her under her chin. She loves it and the simple act of petting her alleviates the stresses of my day. It’s a win-win for both of us. 

Unconditional love. That is what our beloved dogs give us and that is what we want to give them. Are you still reading? Go and pet your dogs and spoil them in one of these ways or in your own unique way. 

Bonus way to spoil your dog! Sign up for a free trial subscription of DOGTV. Turn on the programming when you leave the house or if you’re working and not able to entertain your dog. The scientifically-designed programming keeps your dog entertained and relaxed. Sign up here. 

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