Our dogs are our best friends. They make us laugh, smile, and keep us in high spirits whenever they’re around. If you spoil your dog, you’re not alone. Many dog parents repay their pup’s love by showering them with treats and table scraps.

It’s important to keep in mind that our dogs often enjoy other forms of love beyond food. We want to keep our dogs around for a long time and too many treats can weigh them down as the years pass. If you’re worried your pup may weigh too much, put down the bag of cookies and pick up one of these ways to spoil them without a negative impact on their health.

1. Toys and More Playtime

Have you ever noticed how quickly the joy of a treat fades? A few bites and your dog is looking for the next one in your hand. Toys offer lasting entertainment and long-term health benefits. Running, tugging, and wagging elevate your dog’s heart rate, lubricates their joints, and builds muscle tone. To keep your dog’s interest, rotate toys in and out of the toybox and replace any that are dirty or chewed to bits.

The benefits of play go beyond your dog’s physique by helping their mental well-being. Playing exercises your dog’s brain, reducing anxiety and alleviating depression, and physical and mental stimulation can ward off the effects of aging in senior dogs.

2. Take Extra Walks or Plan a Hike

Most dogs live for their daily walks. Whether it’s a quick spin around your neighborhood or exploring the Jay Cooke State Park together, walks and hikes are a great way for your dog to stretch their legs. These trips aren’t just physically beneficial for your dog; they allow them to exercise their senses with novel sights, sounds, and smells.

On days it’s too hot for a walk or hike, head in to Duluth to take your dog to a pet store, where they can pick out a new toy and soak up the attention from employees and other customers.

3. Give Your Dog a Splash Pad

If your dog loves water, summer fun for your best friend can be as simple as a baby pool and a hose. Create a personal puppy splash party in the backyard and add a few floating balls to turn up the fun. Don’t forget the towels and remember to wait for that classic doggie shake before letting them in the house!

4. Pamper Your Dog with a Spa Day

The summer heat can feel even more oppressive for dogs with long coats. A summer haircut can help. Pamper your pup by bringing them to the groomer. Your dog will feel their best with clean teeth, a stylish coat, trimmed nails, and squeaky clean ears.

5. Spend Quality Time with Your Pup

Dogs are social animals, so it’s no wonder they just can’t get enough time with you. Spoil your pup by providing them with extra quality time. Spend time petting and snuggling your best pal every day, and you’ll both reap the benefits of a deeper bond.

Many dogs also love training sessions with their owners. Praising your pup makes them feel as special as you know they are, and the challenge of training rewards their mind. Not only will they learn cute new tricks, but you’ll find they’re listening better as their brain is conditioned to expect your affection when they do as you ask.

Spoil Your Dog with a Lifetime of Health

When given in moderation, food treats are a part of a balanced lifestyle for your pup, but we hope you’ll consider these healthy rewards as a way of treating your dog to lifelong health and happiness.

If you have questions about your dog’s diet, a healthy exercise routine for keeping your canine companion fit, or which treats are best for your dog’s needs, make an appointment today. We’re happy to be part of helping your dog feel their best and live a long, healthy life.

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