Your canine companion is about to meet its end. As you read this, you probably wish you could turn back the hands of time and relive all those precious memories you made through the years.
Research has shown that dog owners are more likely to suffer emotional stress and depression once their beloved pet passes on. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s next to impossible to find a fitting replacement for a dog you’ve known practically all your life.
Yes, it’s a sad fact, but the best you can do now is make the most of the time you have together. Bonding with your dog in its final moments might prepare you for what’s to come and give you good memories to look back on. Queue in the set of bucket list adventures.
Having a bucket list can be rewarding, depending on your furry friend’s general health and age. Here’s a comprehensive list of fun things to do with your dog before you put them down:
When was the last time you took your four-legged buddy for a camping trip? If it’s been a while, then you need to take time off your busy schedule. Treat your dog to new sights and sounds before they leave this cruel world for doggy heaven.
Spending those final moments in the open air with your dying dog can be highly beneficial.
Not only will you strengthen your bond, but you’ll also teach your dog new tricks (quite literally). You can introduce them to new activities that will boost their immunity and keep them mentally stimulated.
If you think you have nothing to gain from the whole camping experience, you’re so wrong. You’ll develop your social skills and relax your mind after such a long time.
Take time to prepare for the trip adequately. Oh, and before reserving your stay, book an appointment with your vet to make sure your dog is fit enough to go camping.
Take Wholesome Family Photos
Yeah, yeah, yeah! You already have portraits of your fluffy friend. But are you and your family in any of them? I didn’t think so.
There’s a fun and tricky side to having a family photo session with your dog. Like human beings, all dogs have their personalities.
Some are naturally friendly around their family, while others are primarily introverted. The latter shouldn’t distract you from capturing one or two memorable moments with them.
Always maintain a playful and friendly mood with your dog before the photoshoot. The air will help keep the dog at ease and bring out some quality results that you’ll look back on for years to come.
And no. You won’t need to pay extra for a classy set or book a flight to Venice for a 20-minute photo shoot. Just look for an open space like the park or your backyard, and you’re good to go!
Throw a Party for Your Dog
While most people might consider a dog party a complete waste of time and money, look at the bigger picture: you’re not ‘most people.’ Your dog won’t be around for very long. Why not commemorate its life rather than make early plans for its death?
Four significant factors to consider for your pooch party are the food, theme, location, and the guest list.
Does your dog have a clique of doggy BFFs? Meet up with their owners and invite them to the party. If they can’t make it for one reason or another, don’t sweat it. You can always agree on a later date.
But the spotlight should be on your dog throughout the party. Make your fur baby feel special by giving it all its favorite treats and chews. After all, it won’t be around much longer to satisfy its taste buds.
Watch the Sunset Together
There’s something magical about watching the sunset with the one you love. It could be your lover, best friend, principal (wait, what?), or even your dog.
Seriously though, the sunset is symbolic of your dog’s final days in this world. It could also represent the end of the close bond you share with your doggie-bestie.
Take time off your busy schedule and plan a trip to the beach. Of course, you could opt to do it on top of your roof, but trust me, it’s a lot better with your feet in the sand.
It doesn’t have to be all sad and gloom. An hour before the sunset, you can play with your dog or dance along to What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction (my personal favorite). Film your time together if need be.
Let Your Dog Sleep with You
Research shows that less than half of pet owners share their sleeping areas with their dogs. If you’re not counted among this ‘half,’ it’s time you let loose a little and allow your dog to cuddle next to you. There’s nothing to be ashamed of; it’s the best way to bond with your dog, among other benefits.
You also get to spend more time with your furry friend. On a cold night, your dog will keep you toasty and cuddled up. But before you allow Boston to cuddle up with you, here are some factors to consider:
Senior dogs may not warm up to the idea of sleeping next to their owner.
Don’t disregard any behavioral risks to letting your dog sleep with you. Pups are more likely to wet your bed during the night.
The bigger it is, the more space it’s going to take up. Unless, of course, you’re sleeping alone on a queen-sized bed.
Adequately groom your dog before bringing the pet on board to your sleeping haven. How uncomfy would it be sleeping next to a smelly dog?
Are there any consequences to letting your dog snooze next to you? Of course, there are, but the advantages outweigh the downsides. A 2017 study by Mayo clinic shows that both dogs and humans enjoy good sleep from sharing a bed.
Get Them Dressed Up for Halloween
Most dogs have a thing for Halloween; others are terrified by the thought of it. That’s why it’s good to gauge the reaction of your dog toward this spooky holiday before donning them in your closet of adorable outfits.
In Winter and Autumn, dogs get to weigh in on the fun of dressing up like a notable character. It makes them feel accepted by their human counterparts. If your dog won’t live to see the next Halloween, pick a random day and make a spooky holiday out of it.
The fact that they get to dress as humans makes them even more excited. You can opt for a shirt/pants combo, a tiny tiara, a skirt, a hat, or whatever suits your fancy.
A quick search for Amazon dog costumes will offer you a range of options, including Maleficent, dinosaurs, ghostbusters, mail carriers, reindeer ridden by Santa, and so on.
As the dog owner, you’ll enjoy every second of the dress-up session. Take plenty of photos together. You can choose to take them for a long walk after that – they’ll love it!
Set off on Epic Journey
Setting off on a journey means taking a long road trip like no other. Just you and your dog and having the time of your lives for what could be the last time. I know you’ve had tons of them in the past, but make this one more memorable than the others.
Road trips do a lot more than feed your dog’s sense of adventure. They heighten their natural roots of riding in a pack. Thus, bringing them a sense of comfort and spark a kind of euphoric high. So yes, it’s one of the best things to do with your dog before they die.
Three to four hours before setting off for your epic voyage, feed your dog a light meal. Also, don’t let your dog put their head out through the window. I don’t have to spell out the risks involved with this common but dangerous trend. Don’t give your dog an early trip to heaven. Please.
Treat your Special Friend to a Special Treat
Imagine, if you will, that you ate the same meal every single day of your life. Welcome to your dog’s life.
If you’ve been giving your dog the same kind of meal with little regard to its taste preferences, this should be the first item on your dog bucket list. By ‘special treat,’ I mean a tasty homemade meal complete with high-quality vegetables and meat.
It won’t do much to delay their eventual death, but it will give them something to look forward to now and then.
Even if you can’t commit to treating your dog to a catered meal, you can try and include healthy treats such as carrots, broccoli, brown rice, and ground turkey at least once a week, especially for senior dogs.
It won’t hurt to check with your vet to ensure that your dog gets the proper nutrients.
Give Your Dog a Massage
Dogs love it when you scratch them behind the ears, rub their belly, or even pet them. What you may not know is that they also love – and I mean love – full-body massages. It’s one of the best things to do before putting your dog down.
As silly as it sounds, giving your dog a massage is highly beneficial. Here are a couple of reasons why you shouldn’t think twice about massaging your dog:
- It lessens their stress and anxiety.
- It acts as hearing assistance. If your dog hurts itself, you can contain the pain and swelling by giving a gentle massage.
- It improves internal body functions by helping digestion, decreasing blood pressure, encouraging deeper breathing, etc.
- A massage strengthens your bond.
Read here to find out how to give your dog a proper body massage.
Pedicure with your Dog (Call that a ‘Pawicure’)
If you think you’ve done all that is there to be done with your dog, think again. Getting a pedicure with your furry friend isn’t something that has crossed your mind in the slightest.
Pedicures are a splendid way to break away from the norm and do something out of the ordinary. Regardless of your gender, that is.
It’s never too late to sit by your dog’s side at a parlor somewhere, relax and get your nails painted until it’s too late. If you’re irritated by your dog’s gory and filthy claws, this could be the perfect chance to get rid of them for good.
You could also decide to give your dog a special pedicure treat. Be warned, though: not all dogs are ecstatic about having their feet touched, let alone having their nails trimmed.
Make your dog comfy first and give them their favorite treat and play some relaxing background music. You could also take your dog out for a considerably long walk first. The walk will make the pedicure a lot easier for you and even more relaxing for your dog.
The key to making this simple task fun and enjoyable is to take your time and maintain a lively atmosphere throughout the pedicure.