The time and energy that you spend caring for your dog is truly a labor of love. You care deeply for your pooch and, for sure, they know it. Most likely you both fully enjoy the regular routines that you have.

Dogs seem to be mind readers and will start to get excited when they know it’s time for a walk, or that you’re going to fill their bowl soon with yummy kibble.

A regular schedule is important and your canine companion looks forward to the ways they spend time with you each day, and the nutrition and treats that you provide. Having said that, what you usually offer them might need some spicing up. Dogs, like people, need a little variety from time to time.

When you consider how to show your best friend a little extra TLC, a few ideas probably come to mind. After spending so much time together, you already know a little about your dog’s preferences.

As you read through the list below, remember what they like best but don’t be afraid to try something new that they haven’t experienced. After all, there may be a novel way here to show that you care that they’ll absolutely take to.

Ways to Show Your Dog Some TLC

show your dog tlc

Keep in mind that this is a relatively short list, and you may definitely find other ways to demonstrate extra caring for your pooch. In any event, the suggestions that follow are a great place to start.

Stimulate Their Brains With Enrichment Toys

Just like humans, your pet needs a certain amount of mental stimulation. Otherwise, they may become bored and lethargic, and even feel a bit sad. Plus, if your pooch is holed up in the house for long periods of time, especially in the cold weather months, this can make them feel a little mentally dull.

Enrichment toys are a great way to keep your pet engaged, and the bonus is that you’ll enjoy the activity too! Your dog will respond to the extra TLC and the bond between you will strengthen. Here are a few options:

Teach new tricks Your pooch loves to please you so teaching them to shake a paw, roll over, or another trick is one way to go. Learning something new improves their cognitive function as well.

Try a food puzzle Every dog is food-motivated and they don’t mind trying a little harder to find a special treat. Making a game of eating their usual kibble with a food puzzle also works. You’re probably familiar with the kind of balls that have holes in them where treats drop through. Another cool item you can either buy or make is a snuffle mat.

Create an agility courseInvigorate your doggo by setting up an agility route. Look for things you have around the house − like cardboard boxes, kitchen chairs, etc. – and use your ingenuity to develop a short obstacle course. While it may take a little time and a few dog biscuits to train your canine how to navigate the route, remember what they’re getting from the TLC.

Plan a treasure huntThe treasure we’re talking about is, of course, a few tasty morsels of whatever your dog loves. Have them sit and wait while you go around the house and hide some treats. Then, give the command for them to set off on a race to find the hidden food. Their nose will lead them and, before long, they’ll have found all the hiding places.

Give Your Dog a Massage

dog massage

What self-respecting canine doesn’t enjoy a good scratch in that special part of their back or a gentle ear rub? As you know, touch is critical for our physical and mental health, and it’s no less so for our doggie friends. For Fido, it’s one of the key ways that they know they’re loved.

A dog massage is a wonderful way to give your dog some extra care. Would you believe there are a growing number of professionals who do this?

That fact attests to the health value of dog massages, as well as their popularity. Certainly, you can book an appointment for your pet with a massage therapist, however you can also learn quite easily to do this at home.

Begin with setting the mood to promote relaxation. This might involve spreading out your doggo’s favorite blanket on the couch or on the floor in front of the fireplace. Playing some quiet and soothing music and turning the lighting down low also helps.

Learn a few simple techniques, like a neck rub or running your hands down their back, to try out. Take care to experiment with one or two methods first and see what your fur baby responds to the most. Once you have a few mastered, you can move on and introduce a few others.

 Soothe Your Dog’s Paws

As an involved pet parent, you’ll be familiar with the care needed to maintain your pup’s paws in a healthy state. Your dog’s paws can take a lot of abuse when they’re enjoying the outside and it’s crucial to give this part of their body the attention it requires.

Granted, some dogs use footwear in inclement weather to protect their paws from injury and keep their pads healthy. Nevertheless, all dogs can benefit from a little extra TLC in this department.

Applying a moisturizer regularly is a fine way to soothe your furry friend’s feet. You may hear about using dog paw wax or dog paw balm for this. While there’s merit to applying either, there is a difference between these products. The two substances are composed of different ingredients.

Dog wax is mainly made from a waxy substance like beeswax. Dog balm, on the other hand, may include some waxes but is primarily produced with oils such as coconut oil, sunflower oil, almond oil, aloe vera oil, and may contain shea butter.

This means that dog balm will have some antibacterial, antimicrobial and/or autoinflammatory properties that also assist. In addition, the naturally-occurring vitamins support the growth of healthy skin cells.

Just like receiving a massage, your pet will thank you for taking the time to gently rub some restorative balm on their paws.

Mix Supplements into Their Diet

Dietary supplements are not only beneficial for us pet parents, but they’re helpful for our pets too. Sometimes, a specific supplement added to your dog’s food can bring about a positive change.

Take the case of digestive issues, for example. Gut and digestive tract health is critical to support the effective absorption of nutrients by the body. Although you’re giving your dog the best food around, if they’re having absorption issues, it can lead to all sorts of other illnesses. A probiotic added to your pup’s kibble might make all the difference.

What this does is introduce live microorganisms that rebalance your pet’s natural microbiome and help fight off bad bacteria in the gut. This type of supplement may be particularly helpful after your dog has been on antibiotics since a probiotic will replace some of the good bacteria that the antibiotic has reduced.

A second kind of supplement to contemplate is CBD. You may be curious about this product if you’ve seen it discussed recently in the media. Its usage is steadily increasing with the discovery of a range of health advantages for animals and humans, alike.

Basically, CBD is a compound that’s found naturally in the cannabis plant. CBD is one of many substances called cannabinoids or, more properly, phytocannabinoids.

Cannabinoids, when they enter the body, interact with the endocannabinoid system that has a significant role to play in regulating many physiological processes. This includes sleep, appetite, mood and response to pain. As you might understand, introducing CBD as a supplement in their diet can have some real benefits for your doggo.

Give Your Dog a Spa Day

dog spa day

Who doesn’t take pleasure in treating themselves to a spa? If you could ask your dog about this, you’d likely see a lot of tail wagging. Good grooming practices are invaluable. Think about how you normally keep Spot looking spiffy, and raise the bar to put on a spectacular spa day.

A bath is a perfect place to start. Some dogs don’t mind getting cleaned up in the tub while others are apt to hide under the furniture when they hear the sound of water running. But, when it comes right down to it, they know that it’s one way you take care of them.

Dogs spend enough time outside going for walks, having a romp in the dog park and exploring nature with you, that they need frequent washing.

Dogs generally don’t discriminate when it comes to where they walk or what they roll in, making it all the more necessary that you spend time keeping them clean. Bathing them will get rid of that unpleasant doggie odor on them and in their dog bed.

 Plan a spa treatment by trying out a new pleasant-smelling dog shampoo and rub them down afterwards with a big fluffy towel that’s been warmed in the dryer. Finish up by carefully cleaning and drying their ears with a specialty product and giving them a fresh nail clipping.

Try Acupuncture for Dogs

Would it surprise you to know that doggie acupuncture is a thing? This form of alternative medicine has long been known for its benefits for people, many of whom make it a part of their holistic health routine.

Essentially, it’s a Chinese medicine that’s focused on bringing one’s life energy back into balance. Energy is believed to flow through the body in what’s referred to as Meridian Energy Channels. Acupuncture needles are inserted in key points along these channels to stimulate healing and combat disease.

Acupuncture is one component of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine that’s used to reduce inflammatory pain, among other issues. Interestingly, it has been employed as a treatment for dogs and other animals for literally thousands or years.

With so many pets finding relief from this therapy, there’s every reason to consider it as a way to give your pooch some additional love. It may take you a little time and effort to find someone practiced in the art of animal acupuncture, but the outcome can really be worth it.

Go Organic

organic food for dogs

One of the more obvious ideas for giving your pet more TLC is switching to organic dog food. Chances are, you’ve thought about this already and wondered about the advantages. There are many good reasons to go organic, actually.

When you think about it, one of the main ways that you take care of your canine companion is making sure that they have nutritious food to eat. As they mature and age, you’re always attuned to their dietary needs and you make adjustments accordingly.

It can sometimes be confusing to know what’s the best food with the variety of types of dog food available and new options continually coming to the marketplace.

A diet should not only provide adequate calories and nutrients but must not provoke an allergic reaction. This is where organic dog food comes in. These products are about as wholesome as you can get.

The plant ingredients they’re produced from are grown from seeds that aren’t genetically modified and grains that are cultivated without the use of artificial pesticides or fertilizers. Harvesting is done without synthetic growth promoters. Animal products that are part of the recipe are from animals who’ve been raised without growth hormones, drugs or antibiotics.  

Our Final Thoughts

As mentioned, it’s so important to show your favorite doggo some additional TLC from time to time – especially during more challenging times such as those cold winter months that can seem endless. There are many terrific ways to give your pet this extra care and attention, limited only by your imagination.

Have you read our Honest Paws Special Reports yet?