In This Chapter
- Giving your Boston treats and toys
- Organizing get-togethers for your dog and his canine friends
- Getting out and exploring with your Boston
What you wouldn’t do for your Boston! Being your best friend, a source of entertainment, and all-around great pet, there’s no doubt that you want to give him the best things in life.
In this chapter, I’ve listed some ways to truly bring a smile to your Boston’s adorable face. Not only are these activities healthy and fun, but they also strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Get the Day Off to a Good Start
A healthy breakfast fuels your Boston’s fun. What better way to make his day than to give him a bowl full of nutritious kibble or wet food? The protein, carbohydrates, and fats give him the energy to patrol the yard, play fetch, and be your little shadow for the whole day.
He also needs a cool drink to wash his kibble down, so provide a clean bowl of chilled water alongside his food bowl. Keep an eye on it all day, too, to be sure that he has fresh water available whenever he wants it. (Chapter Eating Well gives you the scoop on feeding your pup.)
Take a Walk
With his adorable snub-nose mug, your Boston is likely to be the most popular pup in the neighborhood. Another way to make your Boston’s day is to take him on a stroll to visit his human and canine friends around the block.
Get his gear together and prepare to hit the road. Put on a colorful collar with an ID tag, attach a matching leash, and grab some pickup bags and treats for on-the-road cleanup and rewards. Then it’s time to head out!
Stroll to the Park
If you’re lucky enough to have a dog park in your neighborhood, it’s a perfect destination when walking your Boston. Dog parks are generally fenced-in play areas where dog owners let their pets stretch their legs, run free, and romp with their canine friends.
Before you take your pup to a dog park, make sure he’s up to date on all his vaccinations, including rabies and bordetella (kennel cough). Check his ID tag, too, and purchase a new one if any of the information is outdated or unreadable.
Throw a Party
You host parties for yourself or your child, so why not throw a bash for your Boston, too! Consider birthday parties, play dates, holiday parties, and so on as fun excuses for bringing together your friends and their pets.
Give Your Boston a Bone
Most dogs love chew toys like bones, knuckles, Kongs, and other hard-plastic toys. These items, which keep tartar and plaque from forming on his teeth, can be found at your local petspecialty store, and they come in a range of flavors, styles, and sizes. Choose one that’s sized appropriately for your pup — and one that he likes!
Take a Spa Day
Though a deep doggy massage should only be done by a trained professional, you can give your Boston a light rubdown during his bath, while you’re grooming him, or while you’re watching television. Follow these simple steps:
1. Have your dog lay on a soft, firm surface, like a carpeted floor or rug. Starting from his head, gently stroke your fingers down his body to his tail.
2. When your pup begins to relax, rub his cheeks, under his chin, and behind his ears.
3. Move down his neck and shoulders in circular patterns, feeling for any burrs or lumps.
4. Massage his legs and feet, taking a look at his toes and pads.
Bake Your Boston Some Cookies
You can make your Boston’s day by whipping up some homemade treats from scratch. This peanut butter cookie recipe given to me by a friend makes the kitchen smell like you’re baking tempting goodies for humans!
Puppy Peanut-Buttery Cookies
1 to 1 1⁄2 cups flour
3⁄4 cup oatmeal
1⁄4 cup wheat germ
1⁄4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
1⁄4 cup honey
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 cup water
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine all ingredients and mix on low until blended. The batter should be the consistency of human cookie dough.
3. Form into tablespoon-sized balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet 3–4 inches apart.
4. Flatten balls to a 1⁄4-inch thickness using the tines of a fork.
5. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until golden brown. Yield: About 20 cookies
Toss a Ball
Most Bostons love to play fetch with a flying disc, tennis ball, or squeaky toy. It’s great exercise for him and quality bonding time for both of you.
When choosing a toy to toss, make sure that it doesn’t have little parts that your Boston may chew off and accidentally swallow. Also make sure the toy is sized appropriately for your dog. A ball that’s too small can be a choking hazard, while a ball that’s too large can be unwieldy for your small dog.
Do Some Homework
If you and your dog are enrolled in puppy kindergarten or basic obedience class, take some time out of your day to practice his commands with him.
Puppy kindergarten, which introduces you to dog-behavior fundamentals, will require you to practice Settle, Sit, and Stay, three basic commands that teach your dog that you are the pack leader. Basic obedience builds on those commands and adds several others, including Leave It and Heel. (Chapter Training and Behavior covers all of these commands.)
Grab some small pieces of cheese or chunks of turkey and go outside on the lawn or driveway to practice what you’ve learned. After 20 minutes a day of practice, you and your Boston will be earning A’s in no time!
Enjoy Each Other’s Company
There’s no better way to make your dog’s day than to spend some quality time together sitting on the porch, under the stars, or in front of a warm fire. It’s good for him — and it’s good for you, too!
by Wendy Bedwell-Wilson