Fun Ways to Spoil Your Pet on National Pet Day (And Everyday!)

Are you of the mind that the word “pet” doesn’t fully capture what your animal family member means to you? Pets are companions, they provide unlimited love and loyalty, and they constantly put a smile on your face. It’s for those reasons and more that people celebrate National Pet Day on April 11. It seems like it’s the least humans can do for their animal family members.

If you have a cat or dog then you’ll want to recognize National Pet Day. This is a day dedicated to your pet, so start thinking about the things they love. Whether that’s special food, treats, or even activities – this is a day all about making them happy.

Here’s a look at some fun ways to spoil your cat or dog on National Pet Day.

Take Your Pooch to a Dog-Friendly Drive-Thru

Dog standing in a car waiting for drie through order at KFC.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / WKanadpon

Here’s something that didn’t used to exist but now is becoming more common. The amount of fast-food restaurants that now offer dog treats at the drive-thru is increasing. Some chains that offer dog-friendly items include Starbucks, Sonic, Shake Shack, Diary Queen, Dunkin’, and more.

You can always look up the restaurant’s menu online or give them a call before visiting to see if they have a dog-friendly menu.

Head to the Dog Park for Playtime

Portrait of a little girl on a background of blurred orange leaves in an autumnal sunny day
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Oleksiy Rezin

One thing that dogs often love is playing with other dogs. It allows them a chance to run around and get all their energy and excitement out. Generally speaking, by the time you leave the dog park, their tongue will be hanging out of their mouth, they will have a big smile, and you know they’ll nap the rest of the day. It’s a state of pure contentment for them.

Even if you don’t have a dog park in your town or city, there’s likely one in a nearby town you can explore with your furry companion.

Take Your Dog on a Long Hike at Their Favorite Trail

Man and a dog.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Melinda Nagy

Now maybe the dog park isn’t your dog’s favorite activity. If that’s the case how about a long hike on their favorite trail? Now that spring has arrived, temperatures are warming up across the country, making for the perfect hiking weather.

To ensure the hike is enjoyable, don’t forget to pack a portable/travel water dish and a bottle of water for your pooch. There’s a good chance they’ll get thirsty on the hike.

Create a Gift Basket of Toys and Treats

Handmade Baskets showcasing Dog Treats, Leashs and Toys.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Cassanas Photography

This tip is ideal for the crafty pet owners out there. Why not customize a gift basket filled with toys and treats for your pet to “open” on National Pet Day? The cool part about a gift basket is that it’s multi-functional. After they get all their toys and treats out, the basket can be used as a toy bin. It’s a win-win kind of gift!

It’s Time to Do a Little Baking

Setting of a rolling pin and dog bone cookies cutters.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / RoJo Images

There is nothing wrong with purchasing your cat or dog’s favorite treats. But if you want to elevate the experience and make the day special, why not bake the treats at home? There are plenty of recipes you can find online that use normal food items you may already have. Just be sure whatever you pick is pet-safe.

You may also want to get creative and try customizing some of the recipes to better suit your pet’s taste buds and dietary needs.

Treat Your Cat to Some Catnip Time

cat licking lips after eating fresh blossoming catnip plant outdoors in nature
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nils Jacobi

Cat parents know just how crazy felines get when catnip is offered. It makes them crazy in all the most hilarious and cutest ways. So treat them to some catnip today, and let them live it up!

You can find pre-made treats with catnip inside, plain dried catnip, or you can even grow your own. You can start catnip from seeds or opt for catnip that has already started sprouting. It’s relatively easy to care for, so your cat will have plenty of treats to look forward to.

It’s Time to Dig Out the Laser Pointer

Young kitten is playing with laser pointer
Image Credit: Shutterstock / movetheuniverse

This is another activity geared towards cat parents. If you want to keep your feline enraptured on National Pet Day, all you have to do is bring out the laser pointer. Cats love chasing the light on the wall, and it tends to keep them busy for a fair amount of time.

If you want to get high-tech about it, there are even interactive laser pointers that are motion-activated. This means your cat can play even if you aren’t there to move the light around. Just make sure that whatever laser pointer you get, it’s pet-safe.

Dress Them Up in Some Fancy New Clothes

Dogs of the American Bully breed in the park in a hat and a scarf.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Sushitsky Sergey

You need to have a pretty easy-going and tolerant pet for this activity, but that is the case for many cats and dogs. Some don’t just let you dress them up, they also enjoy it! You could get them a fancy new outfit, or two, that they can show for National Pet Day.

If you’re looking for practical items, look for clothing that is water-resistant or water-proof, has reflector strips on it, adds extra warmth for the cool weather, or even SPF built-in protection.

Book an Appointment at the Pet Spa

Sleeping cat on a massage towel.
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Olga Smolyak

This activity won’t be every dog or cat’s cup of tea, depending on their personality. However, if your pet loves getting spoiled at the spa with a wash, blow-dry, and trim, this is the perfect day to book an appointment. Think of it as their spring makeover.

If your pet gets a bit too nervous at the spa or groomer’s, you could always give them an at-home grooming. Chances are they may be more open to the activity when it’s in a familiar setting and you’re the one grooming them.

Make Extra Time for Pets and Cuddles

Female volunteer with homeless dogs at animal shelter outdoors
Image Credit: Shutterstock / New Africa

Lastly, you want to be sure you set aside extra time for pets and cuddles throughout the day. When it comes down to it, there’s nothing your pet loves more than spending time with you and having your full attention. It’s relaxing for both of you.

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