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What are Dog Spas—and Why Do You Need to Visit One ASAP?

Most of us will use any excuse to spoil our precious pups. And quite frankly, we can’t think of a better way to acknowledge National Spoil Your Dog Day (Aug. 10) than a doggie spa session. That’s right—dog spas are the latest trend sweeping the pet industry. From blueberry facials to chic haircuts, dog spas are the perfect way to show your dog some love.

What exactly IS a dog spa?

We all know what to expect when we schedule our own day of self-care at the spa. But what exactly does a dog spa day entail?

Gone are the days of a simple shampoo and nail trim. Today’s pet spas are pulling out all the stops, offering a range of luxurious ways to pamper your furry friend. In addition to your dog’s routine grooming needs, some spas provide relaxation therapies and even veterinarian care and rehab for pets recovering from surgery.

Depending on where you live, you may be able to enjoy the convenience and undivided attention that comes with a mobile spa service. These “Spa-On-Wheels” will come to you, so there’s no need to deal with the stress of carting your nervous pooch across town. A traveling dog spa will probably put a larger dent in your wallet than a traditional brick-and-mortar salon, but we say it’s worth the splurge!

What kind of spa services can my dog enjoy?

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Beyond the standard bath and haircut, how do pet spas give your dog the royal treatment? Here’s a few of our favorite canine salon options:

  • Deep Conditioning: Got a dog with longer hair? Get his luscious locks looking their best with a deep conditioning treatment that will prevent tangles and make his fur irresistibly  soft.
  • Pawdicure: Your dog’s paws undergo a lot of stress, and they should be cleaned and moisturized regularly to keep them from cracking in extreme heat or cold. Your dog can have his nails trimmed, shaped, and even painted at the spa.
  • Deshedding Treatments: Another popular spa service is having your dog’s coat thinned out. Professional groomers use special deshedding tools that remove loose fur and keep the hair on your clothes and furniture to a minimum. Plus, your dog will be more comfortable without that thick layer of extra fur—it’s a win-win.
  • Dog Massage: Who doesn’t love a good massage? Watch your dog melt into a puddle of relaxed contentment with a therapeutic rub-down. Giving your dog a massage can reduce anxiety, improve circulation, and diminish pain.
  • Facials: Yes, dog facials are a thing. And they’re a great way to fortify the fur around Fido’s face. They can also help remove tear stains, keeping your furry friend’s face bright and lovely.
  • Aromatherapy: Dogs are expert smellers, so aromatherapy can be an effective way to soothe jittery nerves. Pet-friendly colognes are a fun way to keep your dog smelling his best.
  • Oral Care: The grooming task most commonly neglected by pet owners is brushing our pets’ teeth. Freshen up your dog’s breath with a thorough brushing and fresheners.
  • Medicated Bath: If your dog suffers from itchy allergies, perhaps a medicated shampoo is the answer. Ask your vet for recommendations, and bring the shampoo along to your dog’s spa day. 

How your dog can benefit from a day at the dog spa

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Still unsure if a doggie spa day is the right move? These benefits should convince you. 

  1. Your dog will be more comfortable: No one likes tangled hair—not even your dog. Failure to groom your dog on a regular basis can result in painful mats and an accumulation of irritants like pollen and dirt. If you’re finding it hard to keep up with your dog’s grooming needs, a day at the spa is in order.
  1. Disease detection: An experienced groomer will be able to detect health issues with your dog’s skin, fur, or ears. 
  1. Spas are an effective stress reducer: Whether he’s receiving a massage or a deshedding service, your dog will experience a whole new level of relaxation and comfort at a spa. This is especially true for dogs who suffer from chronic pain. Spa services that offer pain relief will help an anxious dog to sleep better and to be more interactive. 
  1. Nail care is important: Ordering your dog a pawdicure is more than just a vain indulgence—it’s essential for maintaining a healthy gait and posture. Overgrown nails can lead to painful paw injuries, not to mention damage to your furniture.
  1. Your furniture will be (mostly) hair-free: Keeping your home clean is easier when your dog’s loose hair is removed on a regular basis. 
  1. You’ll have one spiffed up pup: We can’t forget to mention how dashing your dog will look and how lovely he’s going to smell!

How to create a DIY dog spa at home

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Maybe you don’t have the dough to splurge on professional spa services right now. Or maybe your local boutique is temporarily off-limits during these times of social distancing. Either way, your dog doesn’t have to miss out on all of the fun. Why not bring the spa to your own home?

Here are our top tips for creating a blissful at-home spa experience for your canine pal. 

  • Exercise first: Going for a nice walk before your spa session will tucker your dog out, making him easier to handle at bathtime.
  • Get the mood right: The goal here is make your environment as calm as possible. Dim the lights, use soothing scents, and speak in a soft voice to make your dog feel safe and comfortable.
  • Try a massage: Aside from the health benefits of a good massage, they’re also a great way to bond with your pet. Find a quiet spot in your home, and start with slow, gentle strokes to alleviate tension.
  • Clip his nails: Make sure to use sharp shears, and clip without hesitation.
  • Relax with a pre-bath brush: This will remove excess hair before your dog gets into the tub.
  • Hit the showers: Using lukewarm water and a shampoo intended for dogs, get your dog’s coat fresh and clean with a relaxing bath. Make sure you’re thorough with rinsing—residual shampoo can cause irritation and flaking.
  • End things with a treat: Remind your dog how much he means to you by rewarding him with a favorite snack. 

Dogs enrich our lives—they love us unconditionally, they’re loyal to the end, and they’re always up for a cuddle. I’d say it’s time to return the favor and show our pets just how much we care. No matter what dog spa services you choose, a little pampering goes a long way.