"Man's best friend" is a cliché for a reason -- for many of us, our canine companions are more than just pets; they're very important members of our family. More people are waiting longer to have children (if we choose to have them at all), so we generally have more time, energy and resources to dote on our pets than ever before. The pet care industry reflects this trend: According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spend more than $3 billion a year just on services for their pets. We don't just want our dogs to be healthy -- we want them to be happy and to know that we treasure them. What better way to show your affection than to give your pooch some serious pampering?
You may think that you can't afford to pamper your dog. While it's true that pampering implies luxury, there are plenty of simple, inexpensive ways to do it. Of course, some dogs get the kind of special treatment that can make humans jealous, and if you have the budget for it, the sky's the limit. Many owners equate pampering with feeding their dog human food or giving him lots of treats, but too much could have the unintentional effect of making him ill at the very least or overweight at the worst. It's also important to remember that there's a fine line between pampering and spoiling -- indulging bad behavior in your dog doesn't serve either of you very well. So if you don't usually let your dog sleep on your bed, for example, offering to let him to do so sometimes will only send him mixed messages.
The best ways to pamper your dog involve spending quality time with him, keeping him active and feeding him well. Next, find out how you can make your dog feel special using things you probably already have around the house.