Pampered pups: How to treat your dog like a child

Sep 28, 2010 at 12:18 p.m. ET

If you spend more money on Ruff’s luxury bed than your own linens, and your iPhone has more pictures of your furry friend than of your relatives, you might be a proud pet fanatic, er, parent. You aren’t alone! Over half of American pet owners consider their pet as much a part of the family as any human member, according to a 2009 poll of pet owners. We at SheKnows teamed up with Weider Pet Health to give you even more ways to treat your beloved pampered pups like your child.

Pampered dog after bath

Pampering your pets

1Doggy and Me! Workouts

You've heard of Mommy and Me classes for moms and tots, but did you know that more Doggy and Me classes are popping up around the country? Your canine kiddos need exercise as much as you do. Bound into a class and bond over cardio, balance, core, strengthening, and yes, even pup-friendly yoga moves.

2Take your doggie for a ride

Give your furry family member first-class travel accommodations in planes or automobiles with a well-ventilated carrier, lined with a luxurious Sherpa pad. And never leave Rover in a vehicle on a hot or extremely cold day. If you wouldn't be comfortable (or safe) in a parked car, neither will your pooch.

3Weider Pet Health's Advanced Canine Wellness SolutionsSupplement the love

Even the best pet food may not deliver all the nutrients your dog needs — but you know your dog doesn't want to choke down a pill or eat unpalatable powders. A tasty alternative is Weider Pet Health's Advanced Canine Wellness Solutions, powdered supplements that deliciously mix right into Fluff's favorite food. Different varieties are available for daily wellness, skin and coat health, allergies, digestive wellness, hip and joint mobility, and aging.

4Bubble + SqueakBathtime for Bowser

Unless your pooch is a water dog who prefers a pond to the grass, you need to make bathtime fun for Fifi. Provide treats before and after the wash to give her good associations. While's she's in the tub, talk to her gently and use the soaping process as a luxurious massage. Try an organic herbal shampoo like Bubble + Squeak. Afterwards, be sure your family compliments Fifi on her fluffy-clean beauty.

5Puppy playdates!

Dogs need a social life just as much as humans do. Doggie playdates provide exercise and help pups develop and hone socialization skills as well as give you the opportunity to make friends with like-minded pet parents. Visit for individual and group playdates.

6Take Ruff to lunch

Everyone enjoys a nice meal out, and dogs are no different. Log on to to find a state-by-state listing in the US and Canada of dog-friendly outdoor restaurants. You'll also find a list of etiquette for these establishments to make it a pleasant experience for you (and your fellow diners).

More ways to pamper your pets

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