By: Rae Friis
Growing up, my family always had at least one or two (and sometimes three) dogs at a time. But now that I have my own busy household with four children aged 2 to 12, there has never really been a perfect time to add a furry four-legged friend to our family.
Now that the kids are getting older — and now that they are more able to help take care of a pet — I’m thinking that, instead of waiting for a perfect time to get a dog, a good time to get a dog is the best I’ll get.
When it comes to dogs and babies, holding off for the perfect moment could mean you’ll be waiting forever. So while we start the process of looking for the newest member of our crew, I have the luxury of planning all of the ways I can “treat” our future pup. Here are four treats and activities any dog would really appreciate.
1. DIY Luxurious Doggy Bath
Good, safe, homemade shampoo is the perfect thing to make sure he will get lots of belly rubs and cuddle time in the house. Something every dog and family member will love! Talk to your furry friend’s vet to ensure he doesn’t have any allergies and then give this doggy bath a try!
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup all natural dish soap
- 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 drops of essential lavender oil
- Combine all ingredients in a large mason jar with a lid.
- Let the mixture sit overnight.
- Shake well before using.
- Scrub Fido down in a tub or with a hose, then rinse for the sweetest smelling pup you could imagine!
2. Make Your Pup a Custom Bed
All you need is a small drop cloth (found in the painting section at the hardware store), fabric paint, a paintbrush, letter stencils, a small piece of cardboard, pillow filling and a sewing machine (or someone you know who likes to sew).
Measure and cut the drop cloth to the desired size, then fold in half and sew around two open sides. Turn the fabric right side out and place a piece of cardboard in-between the two layers of fabric where you want your pup’s name painted. Position letter stencils as desired and paint away. Once the paint has dried, you can stuff the bed with filling and close up the open end with your sewing machine.
He’ll feel like part of the family while hanging out on his own cozy and adorable bed in the living room — instead of shedding all over the sofa — where he will get to join in the good stuff, like family movie night.
3. Craft Collar Charms
Another project fun for the family that results in a special accessory for your dog is to make some adorable charms for his collar.
Colorful polymer clay, an “o” ring, a needle (or other pointy object), needle nose pliers and rubber alphabet (or dog themed) stamps are all you need. Once your supplies are gathered, roll out the clay and form it into the shape you want. Press your stamps into the clay until you are happy with how it looks. Next, use a needle to make a hole for the “o” ring to go through.
Bake the charm according to the directions on your clay packaging. Once they have cooled, use the pliers to add the “o” ring and add to your dog’s collar. It’s so cute and personal, but even more importantly, your pup will feel special with all the attention he gets from strangers asking where you got such great tags!
4. Get to his heart through his belly
I’m pretty sure a dog’s stomach is the fastest way to his heart, and the easiest way to treat him. Next time you’re at the store, grab a bag of doggie treats you know your dog will love, and keep a baggie of them in your purse or car to have on hand. That way, the next time you are enjoying an outing that involves treats for the family, your pup won’t feel left out — or start begging. He’ll learn that family time is fun time for him, too!
Rae is a graphic designer and the creative director of Armommy.com. She spends her days working from home — usually with any one of her four lovely (and rambunctious) kids hanging on her side. She enjoys creating everyday adventures with her munchkins using ordinary things and making them extraordinary. Oh, and she also really love clothes, chocolate, her husband, and her cell phone (in no particular order).