Dogs are the most popular pet in the United States—and for a good reason. They’re loyal, lovable, fluffy balls of entertainment at your constant beck and call. Because of the limitless breed options for canines, their temperament and personalities will differ, giving you endless possibilities for a furry companion.
Whether you’ve adopted a mutt from your local pound or spent a pretty penny on a top-of-the-line Labrador Retriever from a reputable breeder like Snowy Pines White Labs, you’ll want to show your love appreciation by showering them with attention, stimulation, and getting to know their quirks. That way, when they show signs of distress or discomfort, you can catch on quickly and work towards a solution.
Like humans, dogs are bound to experience moments of rattling stress, causing them to act skittish, aggressive, or lethargic. Suppose your dog is showing signs of anxiety, in that case, you can help mitigate negative feelings by administering an anti-anxiety med (issued by a trusted vet), slowly brushing their fur, or—if you’re up for it—surprising your dog with an at-home spa treatment to help ease their discomfort.
If the latter option piques your interest, read on for helpful DIY doggy spa tips and tricks.
Before you dive deep into a sud-filled tub with no plan of action, map out the treatment from start to finish and gather necessary supplies beforehand. You’ll need a dog-friendly shampoo, fur conditioner, nail clippers, multiple towels, and a sturdy brush. The specific type of fur treatment and brush will depend on your pup’s bread, so be sure to research the best products to avoid irritation.
Once you’ve collected the materials and planned-out the bath (and subsequent wet-dog aftermath), you’re ready to dive into the treatment.
Start with exercise
Although a full-body massage and brush will feel relaxing to your pup, the pre-bath preparations leading up to the sudsy scrub session may be challenging with stubborn dogs. However, you can reduce the risk of a messy tub escape by wearing your pup out before diving into a spa day.
Before treatment, take your dog for a long walk or hike to get their heart rate up and tire them out. That way, when bath time comes, they’ll be worn down from the exercise, resulting in a slightly more docile temperament.
Once you’ve finished wearing out your pup, it’s time to pull out the big guns: shampoo and conditioner. Start by wetting your dog’s fur, then lather soap generously, scrubbing vigorously up and down their body.
Pay close attention to matted areas and particularly dirty spots, making sure to allot more time and cleanse deeper to rid them of dirt. Once the water runs (mostly) clear, move onto the conditioner and repeat.
Once you’ve shampooed and conditioned your dog, give them a thorough massage, starting with their face, making your way to their legs and paws. Gentry run your fingers in circles along their fur, rubbing the muscles to relieve any tension or stress.
Be careful to keep pressure light, as your furry friend can’t express discomfort the same way a human could.
Brush and blow dry
After you’ve rinsed and towel-dried your freshly-washed pup, brush their fur thoroughly, paying attention to matted areas. If your dog’s coat is especially tangled, you may have to carefully cut around the matte or book an appointment with a groomer to sort out stubborn knots.
After you’ve brushed their fur, blow dry their hair for a fresh, fluffy look. Not only will they feel silky smooth, but they’ll also enjoy the warm bursts of air.
Once they’ve exhausted themselves once more with post-bath zoomies, call them over for a healthy snack. Dogs love nothing more than an extra treat throughout the day, so give them a couple for good measure. Just be sure to select products with healthy ingredients to avoid adverse reactions.
Just like humans, dogs feel stress and anxiety from time to time. To help calm negative feelings, set up a spa day for your furry friend and watch the tension disappear. Although ongoing behavioral issues may require medical attention, infrequent outbursts or bouts of sadness are normal and treatable at home with a simple pampering session.