Pet Life

Christmas presents for dogs

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Make the festive season extra special for your dog, with luxury treatments that you can recreate at home.

Christmas presents for pampered pets

Have you ever considered treating your dog to a Christmas present? You’re not alone. Recent research shows that British pet owners spend a combined £11.6 billion* a year on gifts and activities for their pets. In fact, dog owners were each found to splash out an average of £495* annually, and none of those surveyed felt that they were spending unnecessarily. After all, it’s how you’d look after any other member of the family, isn’t it?

So, with the festive season around the corner, we’ve taken a look at some of the most luxurious ways to pamper your pet. Read on for the top treatments available, and how you can give your dog a similar Christmas present (for a fraction of the cost).

If you’d like to splash out, try…

Star-worthy grooming

If you’d like to give your pampered pet the ultimate grooming treat, look no further than The Pet Spa. Formerly housed in Harrods, the spa now occupies 3,000 square feet in the heart of London’s Chelsea and promises to provide ‘a calm, relaxing safe haven in which pets can be groomed, indulged and revitalised’. Services are offered for dogs, cats and even rabbits, tortoises and hamsters. Pudsey, the canine winner of Britain's Got Talent, was said to love The Pet Spa’s personalised blow-dry and massage treatments.

If this sounds like your dog’s cup of tea, why not treat them to one of the spa’s pampering experiences? Among many other treatments, the salon offers a blueberry and vanilla facial, a pet pedicure and a conditioning bath that promises to naturally enhance the colour of your dog’s coat.

Healing massage

A massage can make an excellent Christmas present for your pet. ‘It’s great for older pets, working dogs or those that are particularly active,’ says Sue Julian, who offers mobile dog massage therapy in Kent. ‘But all dogs can benefit because we pick up “ouchy” bits early on, before they’re an issue.’

However, she recommends asking for your vet’s advice first. That way, you can be sure your pet is being treated by a reputable massage therapist who is properly trained in loosening up any stiffness, helping to heal scar tissue and even in picking up any unexpected lumps or bumps in the skin. A good pet massage therapist will also allow the treatment length to vary according to each dog’s personal tolerance. Afterwards, your dog is likely to feel relaxed and in need of a long sleep – much like we do after a massage!

Five-star spa treatments

The hottest new trend for pampering your pet? Doggie mud spas, of course. ‘The treatment sounds indulgent, but can actually help with skin problems or fly, flea or tick bites,’ explains Nina Blanchard, owner of Chien-chic dog grooming in Hereford. ‘And it’s especially good for dogs that have arthritis as it can also help to relieve any aches and pains.’

After wetting the pet’s coat, Nina applies either a dog-friendly argan oil and lavender, or olive oil and coconut mud spa treatment. ‘I massage it onto the fur, and most importantly onto the skin, and then leave it on for 15 minutes. The dog is also wrapped in a warm towel because without it, they’d be tempted to shake the mud off and it’s a very messy business!’ She then rinses the pet off and gives them a good shampoo and dry.

‘Dogs love the treatment,’ she says, ‘it’s a really pleasurable experience for them, and you can see that they’re left feeling happy.’

For a more budget-friendly option, try...

...recreating a spa experience for your dog. It’s not only a cost-effective option for Christmas, but also gives you time to enjoy each other’s company and bond – the best gift of all. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up our favourite spa-inspired Christmas presents for your pampered pet:

1. Madra Mor mud bath, £14.99

If you don’t mind getting a little messy, you could try adding a mud bath to your pet’s usual grooming routine at home. This all-natural version contains green tea extract, chamomile and lavender to help soothe and calm your dog’s skin, while also conditioning their coat.

2. John Paul Pet Waterless Foam Shampoo for cats and dogs, £15

To give your dog some extra-special grooming, why not try the John Paul pet range? It’s been created by the team behind Paul Mitchell hair products for humans, and is tested on people before it gets the green light for pets. This waterless shampoo is especially handy for freshening up in between baths or visits to a professional groomer.

3. Espree Paw Balm, £12.75

Made with only natural, pet-friendly ingredients, this balm adds a protective layer to paws and can help your dog avoid chapped or cracked skin on their winter walks. Try warming a small amount in your hands and then using your thumb to rub it on your pet’s feet in a circular motion, after you’ve been cuddling and they’re feeling especially calm and relaxed.

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