When you’re trying to stick to a monthly budget, it can be hard to justify adding in a visit to the groomer. You want to spoil your cat or dog, but you need to be able to afford getting your own hair trimmed too. Instead of trading one hairdo for the other, turn to this list of DIY ways to pamper your pet.
In this post, we’ll outline a few ideas for how to give your pet TLC without shelling out for overpriced toys and gourmet treats.
Extra care for your cat or dog at home
There are a number of ways you can make your pet feel special around the house – most of them aren’t all that different from what you might do to pamper yourself!
- Shop for a deal on a cute new collar or leash: These items may be tools you use every day to keep your pet safe, but a replacement doesn’t have to break the bank. Scan the options on Etsy for unique, fashionable deals (but be wary of shipping costs).
- Offer turndown service: You know how you love getting into a bed made with fresh sheets? The same is true of your dog and the slipcover on their dog bed. Doing one load of laundry can make a difference for you both.
- Create a lounge area for your cat: If you’re a cat owner, create a lounge area (or two) for your feline friend. Your construction effort can be as simple as placing old pillows or a blanket in their favorite corner. Cats love to rest in a sunbeam – all it takes is adding a designated pillow to make their space truly special.
- Draw your dog a warm bath: Not all dogs love a soapy bath, but it can be a great way to make them feel (and smell) good. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these videos on how to bathe a dog or cat.
- Brush stress away and help them shed: In the summer, when it starts to get warm, your dog or cat will appreciate your assistance with basic grooming.
- Groom your dog at home: DIY haircuts and nail trimmings may not leave your dog feeling their best right away – we all get self-conscious after a haircut – but this maintenance helps their skin health and wellness in the long-term.
- Give your dog or cat a gentle massage: You don’t have to be an experienced masseuse to give your cat a great massage.
As an added bonus, if your pet is on the older end, massages also can help improve their circulation. Whatever their age, having a well-groomed, relaxed pet at home will help keep your household happy and healthy.
Nourish your best friend with fresh food & snacks
Your pet is part of your family. Making sure they have nutritious food every day is important, but it’s not the only way to satisfy their appetites and make them feel good. Go out of your way to nourish them with something special:
- Make a homemade meal: Kibble is fine, but fresh veggies and grains are better. To make your dog or cat feel great, buy a little extra salmon at the store for your dinner and add it to their meal.
- Bake some DIY treats: There are so many delicious things to bake in the world, and many DIY treats are specially designed for cats and dogs. To save money on treats, look for recipes made up of ingredients you’ve already got in your cupboard. Peanut butter and oats can go a long way to making your pup feel like he’s getting a special “human food” treat.
- Prep a frozen treat for your dog: On a hot day, give your dog a frozen treat to help them cool down. If pupsicles are too much work, there’s a long list of foods that are great for dogs to enjoy right out of the freezer.
- Create a water feature for your cat: Did you know cats love to drink running water? If you can, research an affordable drinking fountain. You can find these fairly cheap online, or you can make a point of turning on the faucet to a trickle for a short period of time for your cat to enjoy. Cool water just tastes fresher from a fountain, you know?
Like most humans, pets love a surprise snack. Any of these options is sure to delight (without emptying your wallet).
Plan & play
Life is busy, and it can be hard to find time to go for that long walk you’ve been meaning to take with your dog. Here are a few tips for planning playtime with your pet:
For dog owners:
- If your dog loves to go on hikes, make time to hit the trails this weekend. Be sure to bring water and a bowl for them to drink from. You may also want to have a bandana on hand to wipe off any mud or dirt you pick up along the way.
- In summer, take your dog for a swim! There’s nothing better than cooling off in the river or lake on a hot day.
- If you have a social pup, plan a party at the local dog park. To make it extra special, bring some DIY treat to share with friends.
For cat owners:
- Be intentional with your time and plan an extra fifteen minutes in your after-work relaxation time to play with your pet. Bring home a feather on a string, and spend time making it fly to help your cat stay active.
- If your indoor cat is curious about the great outdoors, an affordable leash will enable you to bring them outside safely.
This may not sound like “pampering” in the traditional sense, but each of these activities is a way to demonstrate that you care.
At the end of the day, spending time with your pets is the best way to show them you love them. Few things are as precious to your dog or cat as your attention, and that doesn’t cost a penny.
Even if you just spend an extra ten minutes petting your pet on the couch, they’ll notice your attention and appreciate the affection. And if they’re like most pets, they’ll return your love in spades.