Pets might be the pride and joy of our lives but sometimes with a fast-paced lifestyle, their happiness and comfort can stop being a priority. When pets especially dogs are not given enough attention, they can withdraw, get depressed and even stop eating and exercising. Mental stimulation as well as consistent affection is very important for your pet’s health. Here are a few creative ways to show your pet you love them very much.
- Food Is The Way To The Heart
Food is one of the most important things in any pet’s life for obvious reasons. For domestic pets, outdoor hunting or foraging is not in the cards so as their best friend and owner you will need to invest in tasty, quality food to keep up their nutrition and physical health. While buying the best brands you can afford is generally a good idea, you can also look up recipes online and make healthy home-cooked options.
Many pet enthusiasts make large batches of dog or cat food and freeze it so it can be decanted in small portions over the week. Always discuss with your veterinarian the right kind of food for your pet and whether or not he or she needs any kind of additional nutrition or supplementation. Some pets do have allergies and in that case may need a specialized diet.
- Speak Their Emotional Language
Your furry best friend has his/her own personality and emotional language that you must take time to understand. Pay attention to their emotional cues like happiness, depression, isolation or loss of appetite. Spend quality time with your pet so they feel cherished and try to do activities that will expend their energy and enable them to express themselves. Just because an animal is nom-verbal doesn’t mean they don’t have a voice! Body language, audio and behavioral cues are all indispensable in understanding the psychology of your pet.
Many pets will be defensive when they first enter their owner’s home due to a past history of neglect or abuse. It is essential that the owner be well-versed in their pet’s history both mental and physical. This can ensure that proper care is provided to the animal which might suffer some maladjustment when they start living with you.
- Schedule Some Playtime
In the hustle of daily life, it is easy to forget if you gave your dog a walk or not or whether you took out some quality time to interact with your furry best friend. Use an app or the alarm on your phone to schedule playtime and walks so your pet knows he/she is loved and cared for and they have a special role in your life. It is common to find pets in a depressed state if the owner is too busy with work, rarely home or if they are ignored.
Limit the time you spend on your smartphone (which has various other health benefits as well) and instead communicate with your pet. Remember that quality time can take any form, so you can watch TV with your pet, go for a walk, and give them a good brushing so their coat stays silky smooth or play ball with them. The idea is to show your pet they have a role to play in your life and as with any other matter of routine, consistency is key.
- Special Occasions Matter For Pets Too
Celebrating your pet’s birthday or having special holiday pet portraits made are all important milestones for your furry best friend so do not ignore them. Make a fuss and invite friends and family to partake in these little events as well, it all goes towards making your pet feel loved! You can get props for your pets or special food and it will be something they look forward to every now and then. Pets don’t necessarily have a linear memory but they can discern positive patterns and reinforcement so make sure there is plenty of that available.
- Pet Salon Visits
Every dog needs some grooming every now and then and it can have a positive effect on their physical health and overall hygiene. If you attempt to cut the pet’s nails yourself for example you could make a cut by mistake and he/she could end up with an infected nail. Leave the grooming to the professionals and it is a worthwhile investment to make for the quality of life your pet will enjoy.
Most pets especially dogs thoroughly enjoy salon visits since they are therapeutic and relaxing and it can be a fun new addition to the general routine. Furthermore, regular grooming removes ticks and mites that can even cause blood poisoning if left unchecked and other fungal infections can be prevented with proper medicated sprays and washes that most grooming salons use. When your pet is not affected by poor hygiene and itchiness, they will function better and be happier.
- Cuddling Corner
All pets need a proper bed or a small house of their own to retire to when they are tired or sleepy or ill. Invest in a pet bed with the comfiest blankets you can find and even decorate their little house with custom pet ornaments so they feel they are in good company. Make a point of cuddling and hugging your pet before bedtime every day and after a while they will grow to expect it and even protest if you do not do it.
- Reward-Based Training & Positive Reinforcement
Never use negative behavior, cues or tone of voice to train your dog even if you are doing so for defense purposes. Be kind and reward good behavior (which happens to be the quickest route to their heart) and always keep treats on hand when you see they have responded to any kind of training. Dog whisperers and other experts give classes for relationship based training for dogs so check if you can enroll yourself in one of those in your area.