Whole-body wellness. It’s a concept we’re all intimately familiar with here on Supercharged for Life, and is a core principal of our Blendtopia brand. But the concept of holistic wellness extends not just to our own bodies and minds, but also to the fur babies in our lives.
That’s right, your pup can also benefit from the same care and attention you give your own mental and physical well-being! As a dedicated pup mom (I have two fur babies) I truly believe in taking the time and energy to extend my passion for wellness to my pups. I’ve used these five tips into my own dog’s little world and they have been noticeably happier and healthier because of it.
Switch to a natural dog food
Many, many dog foods contain some not-so-great ingredients: Things like “meat by-products” (read: ground-up pieces of the animal that aren’t edible, like chicken beaks), artificial dyes, MSG, corn and wheat gluten, vegetable oils, and preservatives. All those things are about as good for your dog as they sound.
Instead, try switching out your pet’s food to something with real, healthier ingredients. Here are a couple of great suggestions to get you started:
- Organix Organic Adult Canned Dog Food: The ingredients in this wet food are things like real chicken, brown rice, fruits, and veggies—and they’re all organic and free of preservative.
- Best Budget: Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Premium Dry Dog Food: This dog food is not only wallet-friendly, but the top ingredient in this natural dog food is actual chicken.
Try some essential oils for all-natural benefits
Essential oils aren’t just for people! Especially if you have an anxious or high-strung dog, essential oils can be a natural way to promote relaxation and calm. They may help ward off fleas and ticks, help with skin problems, and let flat-faced breeds breathe a little easier. And essential oils are a great natural alternative to over-the-counter dander and flea treatments. BUT, before we talk more about that, we need to talk about diluting essential oils for use on your dog.
Diluting essential oils for your dog
Diluting essential oils for your pup is a little different than human dilution. Essential oils should ALWAYS be diluted before being used on your dog. Dog noses are much more powerful than ours, so take that into account when you use or diffuse essential oils at home or for the benefit of your pup. A few drops of lavender oil on your dog’s bed or favorite blanket may help soothe them, or it may just cause further stress depending on your dog’s response.
Because their noses are so sensitive, try to just add one drop of essential oil for every tablespoon and a half of carrier oil. This creates a 0.25% dilution, keeping things in a safe range.
Oils that ARE SAFE for your dog
The following common essential oils are safe for use with your dog, and these oils will have similar benefits for your dog that they do for you!
Oils that are NOT SAFE for your dog
Because it is so important to make sure you’re safely using essential oils with your dog, I’ve included a (rather lengthy) list of essential oils that are considered NOT safe for dogs:
- Anise Essential Oil
- Basil Essential Oil
- Birch Essential Oil
- Calendula Essential Oil
- Cassia Essential Oil
- Cinnamon Essential Oil
- Citronella Essential Oil
- Clove Essential Oil
- Cypress Essential Oil
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Garlic Essential Oil
- Grapefruit Essential Oil
- Juniper Essential Oil
- Lavender Essential Oil
- Lemon Essential Oil
- Lime Essential Oil
- Myrtle Essential Oil
- Nutmeg Essential Oil
- Orange Essential Oil
- Oregano Essential Oil
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- Pennyroyal Essential Oil
- Pine Essential Oil
- Rosemary Essential Oil
- Spearmint Essential Oil
- Spruce Essential Oil
- Tansy Essential Oil
- Tea Tree Essential Oil
- Thuja Essential Oil
- Thyme Essential Oil
- Wintergreen Essential Oil
- Yarrow Essential Oil
- Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Carrier oils that ARE considered safe to use on your dog:
These carriers are not just safe for use on your pup, but also have great moisturizing properties!
- Coconut Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Aloe Vera
- Sunflower Oil
- Apricot Kernel Oil
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Kukui Nut Oil
Make some natural heat-busting dog treats
Pupsicles are all over Pinterest right now! This cool, refreshing doggy treat is easy to make on your own at home, in a simple ice cube tray. Pupsicles provide not only an extra treat and some fun for your dog, but also help keep them hydrated on hot summer days. Plus, you can make them from whole, all-natural ingredients!
Dog Mom Tribe has a great round-up of recipes to make these cool and healthy treats, including tasty-sounding versions like Peanut Butter Banana Frozen Dog Treats and Peanut Butter Bacon Dog Ice Cream.
Moisturize your pup!
Just because it’s under that fluffy coat of fur doesn’t mean your dog’s skin doesn’t get dry! Like humans, your pup can suffer from dry, itchy, or cracked skin. We’ve already touted the benefits of using essential oils (and carrier oils) for helping keep your dog’s skin healthy. But there are other wonderful natural itch-relief methods.
- 50/50 Apple cider vinegar spray: Apple cider vinegar is a natural, safe way to help relieve dry, itchy skin. The antiseptic and antifungal properties of apple cider vinegar make it great to help relieve itching.
- Coconut oil: This much-loved oil is also an excellent moisturizer for your pup! Dogs who suffer from eczema, allergies, yeast infections, and even insect bites and stings can all benefit from the direct application of coconut oil. Just use solid coconut oil as you would a lotion and apply to itchy areas.
- Oatmeal: Simple oatmeal is already an ingredient in many pet-shampoos, and oatmeal bath is extremely good for dry doggy skin. Plus, it’s safe for your dog if he or she ends up licking some up (and we know that always happens!) If you don’t want to option to avoid a full-on bath, try making a paste out of ground oatmeal and a little water, and spread on any irritated or dry skin.
Give your fur baby a luxurious massage
Think massage is just for your own sore, stressed muscles? Think again! Your precious pup can benefit from a good rub down too! Dog massage lowers blood pressure and reduces stress for both the giver and receiver and takes only minutes a day. Modern Dog has a great in-depth article on how to massage your dog, but here are the basics to get you started:
Everyday dog massage
Use a flat palm to slowly touch all the parts of your dog’s body. Really focus on what you are feeling and pay attention to all the layers, from hair through skin, fat, muscle, and down to the bone. After a few days, you’ll start to notice what’s normal for your dog’s body. This way you’ll be able to notice any differences in skin temperature, sensitivity to touch, swelling or muscle tension, poor coat quality, or tight skin – issues that could cause medical problems in the future if left unnoticed. Plus, your pup will bask in the extra attention!
So what are your best tips for pampering your own pup? Be sure to come follow Blendtopia on Facebook to stay connected, and follow us on Pinterest to get even more ideas for maintaining our mental, physical, and emotional wellness.