Posted 2 months ago
by Leila Marshall
It’s National Spoil Your Dog Day today (August 10) – a chance to show our pets even more love than usual, because they deserve it.
There are so many ways we can treat our pups and we’ve come up with a few suggestions in case you need some inspiration. But it’s important to remember that some things which we might think would be a treat for dogs could actually be harmful for them – particularly when it comes to food.
Here are some ways we can show our dogs just as much love today as they show to us all the time.
Give them your time and play games
What most dogs would like more than anything is your time. Some dogs love to play with humans and toys don’t need to cost much. Set some time aside for a game of Fetch or have a go at these DIY toys you can make with household items. Some dogs might prefer just to snuggle up for a cuddle with you.
Give them some extra-nice food but not human food
Even though we might be tempted to give in to those big pleading eyes ‘just for once’ as they beg for scraps of our food from under our dinner table, Cecile Yvon, vet and clinical team leader at Joii Pet Care advises owners to only give their pets dog food – no human treats.
She said: “There is a new trend where we see some kind of homemade recipe of ice cream for dogs. We must be careful with human-made ice lollies. They can be a risk if they contain acidities and sweeteners because they are toxic to dogs, plus they’re full of additives and sugar.”
Joe Inglis, head vet and founder of VetChef says it’s important not to feed your dog too much – or the wrong thing. He said: “It’s important to be aware of the dangers of some of our favourite snacks so you don’t accidentally poison your dog.”
Some owners give their dogs human food but it's not advisable (Image: Barcroft Media/Getty)
Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine which can cause heart issues, tremors, seizures and kidney problems in dogs.
Onions and mushrooms are toxic to dogs. Too much onion, garlic or chives can damage their red blood cells and cause gastrointestinal irriation.
According to Battersea Dogs Home, other potentially harmful foods you should avoid letting your dog eat include: macadamia nuts, corn on the cob, avocado, the artificial sweetener Xylitol which can be found in some peanut butter and other foods, alcohol, cooked bones, grapes and raisins.
So by not giving your dogs human foods, you’re actually being kind to them. Even if they’re not toxic, foods that your dog isn’t used to can upset their stomachs.
Some dogs enjoy being pampered (Image: Hayffield L/Getty)
Pamper your dog
Spas aren’t just a special treat for humans – there are some spas just for dogs. The Country Dog Hotel and Spa in Somerset has hot tubs for dogs and they can even get a facial. Or your could give them a bath and groom at home which might make them more relaxed and comfortable.
Get them a gift
Some people like to show their affection with gifts, and while you could buy your dog a new bed or coat, you could really spoil them with a luxury gift hamper just for dogs, like this one inspired by Fortnum and Mason. If your dog likes to wear clothes, you could celebrate your bond by getting matching outfits, like greyhound Lloyd and his owner Paz.
Make them a special den
Giving your dog a special place in the house for them to retreat to whenever they want some space, and making it a nice den for them, is another way to go above and beyond for your dog. Lots of owners have used the space under their stairs to create somewhere cosy just for their dogs.
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