11 Ways to Show Your Dog Some Love

Your pooch deserves some special treatment.

Here are 11 ways you can make it better for your favorite furry companion.

1. Take a selfie your four-legged friend and post it on Instagram (especially if he has his own account, like our Digital Editor’s cuddly cockapoo, Lyla).

You will make your friends smile when they see you both posing in the park.

2. Let Fido safely roam off leash.

You can find a dog park in nearly every community. He will sniff, eat some sticks, socialize with other dogs—and you will both learn to trust each other.

3. Enjoy a class with your dog.

Choose a group obedience or agility class, or the latest craze, Flyball. If your dog has the temperament, consider training him to be a therapy dog.


4. Bring your dog with you—shopping, driving, or even to an outdoor cafe.

Learn the pet-friendly establishments and teach him how to behave. The pet store, car wash, bank and hardware store are some local favorites. He will become socialized with all types of people and become a true member of the community.

5. Perform basic hygiene on your pup.

Ask your vet for a quick lesson on teeth and ear cleaning, nail trimming, and brushing. This is good bonding time with man’s best friend and makes these tasks less stressful than having them done elsewhere. Treats are always a good incentive.

6. Read books by OTHER dog-lovers.

Try “Merle’s Door,” “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” and “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.” The love of dogs is beautifully written on every page. Snuggle up next to your furry friend with a box of tissues.

7. Treat him to a BarkBox, which will be delivered to your home every month.

Imagine his excitement at opening his own package of toys and treats.

8. Keep him fit.

Purchase a Whistle Activity Monitor and check your smartphone to see if he is running enough. Choose different walking routes, throw the ball, get him swimming, take him for a run, or let him join in on a game of Frisbee. Take a field trip to dog paradise at Prairie Wolf Dog Park in Lake Forest.

9. Enlarge a photo of your dog at his best.

Turn it into a wall canvas (or paint a picture of your pup at Pinot’s Palette in Glenview to benefit Heartland Animal Shelter). In 10 years you will be glad to have the keepsake.

10. Take a vacation with your dog to the lake, mountains or a dog-friendly city.

Many hotels welcome dogs. Pack a bag with food, bowls, poop bags, leashes, collars, bones, toys, towels and treats.

11. Make a donation to PAWS, ASPCA, Anti-Cruelty Society or Orphans of the Storm in the name of your best friend.

Every dog deserves to live like yours.