We see you, Dog Mom. Whether your fur kids are your only babies or they share space in your home — and your heart — with two-legged siblings, being a pet parent isn’t all sloppy kisses and tail-wagging adventures. Dogs are wonderful, but they can also be exhausting, exasperating, and occasionally heartbreaking, and dog moms don’t always get the credit, or the support, they deserve.
So to all the dog moms who stay up all night with sick fur babies, labor to keep them healthy, put long hours into training them and grooming them, exercise and enrich them, care for them from puppyhood to old age and lavish them with unconditional love — we see you, and we salute you. In honor of National Dog Mom Day, here are nine ways to treat yourself for being such a good mom.
1. Improve your sleep
Sleeping with your pooch comes with a lot of benefits. It can strengthen your bond with your pup, release chemicals that relieve stress and anxiety and even boost your immune system. But it can have its drawbacks, too, especially if fidgety Fido has no respect for personal space. A plush bed runner for dogs will provide your sleep buddy with a designated space on the bed to help cut down on accidental kicks and nighttime digging in the covers that disturb your sleep. Better yet, a bed scarf can also protect your bedding from dog smell and potential allergens, letting you enjoy sharing the bed with your pup while improving the quality of your zzz’s.
2. Take a screen break with your pup
Speaking of getting a good night’s sleep, too much time looking at screens, especially in the evening, can majorly impact your ability to sleep well. Not only that, but being intentional about setting down the phone and unplugging can make it easier to be fully present in your actual life and deepen your face-to-face connections — including your connection with your pet. So stop scrolling and spend some quality time engaging with your fur bud in the real world.
3. Get control of your space
Even if you’re a mom to just a single pup, that pup can leave your home feeling like a wreck thanks to toys and gear everywhere, muddy paw prints on the carpet, or a dog bed that clashes with the decor. All that chaos can leave you feeling anxious and stressed. Having a put-together space, on the other hand, can relieve anxiety and actually lower the stress hormone cortisol, as well as improve your self-esteem and overall sense of well-being. Use this “Mother’s Day for Dog Moms” as an occasion to declutter, organize and bring calm to your space with a stylish dog bed that actually looks good with your decor.
4. Take your pooch outdoors
Spending just a couple of hours per week out in nature can significantly improve your physical and mental health. The same is also true for your dog, which conveniently enough provides you with both the motivation and an excuse to head into the great outdoors for sunshine, fresh air and exercise. The options for outdoor fun are practically endless — you could hike through the woods, go for a run together, hit the beach or play fetch at the park. But even a leisurely stroll around the block punctuated with lots of sniff breaks will leave you both feeling better.
5. Do more of your favorite things with your pup
As a dog mom, one of your favorite things is, of course, simply spending time with your dog. Involving your dog in doing other things that you love doubles the fun. Sing with your pup, do a photoshoot with them, draw their picture, knit them a sweater, bake them some yummy treats, teach them a trick, or curl up with them while you read or watch your favorite movie. Whatever your favorite pastime, sharing it with your furry BFF will make it even more enjoyable.
6. Splurge on a treat for yourself
Not everything has to be about your dog, Mama. You give them treats all the time. And while spoiling your pup with toys, treats and luxury dog accessories might fall into your definition of spoiling yourself, you deserve something that’s just for you. Whether it’s a spa day, a new outfit, a kitchen gadget, a meal you don’t have to cook or share, or a day spent without your shadow (finally going to the bathroom without an audience!), you’ve earned it. And lest you feel bad about taking a break from your baby, just remember, absence makes the heart grow fonder -- and you get to look forward to coming home to all those excited butt wiggles reserved just for you.
7. Pile up for movie night
Whether your pack consists of you and your pup or you’ve got a whole gaggle of two- and four-legged dependents, put on your pajamas, pop some corn (just leave off the salt and butter for the fur kids) and pile onto the sofa for a movie or show. Sleeping as a pack will strengthen the human-dog bond — and you can always use more sleep, Mom.
8. Live like someone left the gate open
Dogs never waste an opportunity to seize the moment. Take a cue from your pooch and be more spontaneous. Overscheduling your life in the pursuit of productivity can lead to exhaustion and suck all the joy out of life. Leaving room for unplanned activities, like surprise play dates with your pup or unscheduled walks on a pretty day, can help make you less stressed, more flexible, more creative and happier overall.
9. Be a proud Dog Mom
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of backlash against those who think of themselves as pet parents from people who just don’t get it. But if you’ve got dogs and have spent any time around little kids, whether your own or someone else’s, nobody needs to tell you how alike they are. Even so, several studies have proven that dogs and small children have the same cognitive abilities, the same learning styles, and a lot of the same needs. In fact, the biggest difference between caring for dogs versus toddlers is that your dog will never grow out of needing you to take care of them. So ignore the haters and don’t be ashamed to call your doggo your fur kid and wear your completely accurate Dog Mom title with pride.
Happy Dog Mom Day, Mama. We hope it’s filled with slobbery kisses and tail-wagging fun. Nobody deserves it more than you, and nobody appreciates you more than your adoring fur baby.
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