Does your best friend have four legs and fur? Pets bring so much to your life. They always greet you with enthusiasm when you come home after a long day, and they offer unconditional love. Plus, those with a kitty or puppy often enjoy healthier lives than those who do not.
Why not plan an extra-special treat to show your feline or canine companion how much you care? After all, if they saw you through the quarantine, they deserve some extra gifts and more than a little TLC. The following ten ideas will help you delight the animals who share your life and show them how much you love them.
Plan a Pets’ Night
You do date night and boys and girls nights out — why not spend a special evening of cuddling with your beloved furball? You can make it as elegant or as laid back as you like, and Fido or Fluffy will be delighted either way. Both dogs and cats are carnivorous, but they can also ingest whole grains. You can grill up some steaks or lobster tails and serve them over a quinoa pilaf.
Be cautious when giving out people food, though, particularly to dogs who eat anything. Skip the dessert course — chocolate is toxic to pets, and cats can’t taste sweet flavors, anyway. Please don’t think it’s cute to get your pooch a bit squiffy, either. Alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea and central nervous system depression, leading to coma or even death.
Take Them To The Park
Dog parks create a safe and beautiful space for pups and their owners to enjoy a day outdoors without fear of them running off and getting lost. Most dogs love playing off-leash and frolicking with the new “friends” they meet. You can take a few toys, but don’t expect to necessarily get them back — leave their favorite comfort object at home. Pack a picnic lunch, phone a friend who also has a canine companion and make a day.
Cats generally don’t enjoy the outdoors, and it can be a scary place for little kitties. Coyotes and loose dogs pose threats, as do raptors like owls. However, if you have the budget, why not invest in a stroller for your feline friend? These are similar to the baby models, but they are enclosed to keep Fifi safe. One woman even ran a 5k with her purring pal using one of these devices.
Go On Vacation Together
When was the last time you went on a spontaneous getaway? If it has been too long, why not take a road trip with your four-legged companion? You can find pet-friendly hotels in nearly any location — if you call ahead, some will welcome your buddy with a treat or a toy.
When you hit the road, don’t let Fido hang his precious head out the window. You might have to stop suddenly, and he can fly out of the vehicle and into traffic. He could also jump out when you stop or get hit by a projectile. Instead, keep your rear windows locked, but crack them enough to let him enjoy the fresh air.
Make Them A New Toy
If your budget is a bit tight, you might not want to drop a bundle on gifts for your furry friend. However, they’ll be every bit as delighted with a present you make yourself. All you need is an old T-shirt, a needle and thread and some pet-friendly stuffing. When making toys for your purring pal, you might want to add some catnip.
Think outside the stuffed animal, too. You might have noticed how your kitty becomes indignant when you drop the cap of your water bottle, then take it away from her batting paws. You never want to give your pet something so small that it could become a choking hazard. However, one way to show your friendly feline that you care is to let them play with that discarded milk ring to their hearts’ content.
Shower Them With Healthy Treats
All pets adore treats, so shower your four-legged friend with them. Make sure you read the ingredients label, though, and don’t go overboard. Many commercial products contain unhealthy fillers. Plus, obesity causes the same problems in pets that it does in humans. Yes, your pudgy pug looks adorable, but carrying too much weight can also strain his heart.
Another alternative is to make healthy treats at home. You can whip up a batch of these bone-shaped delights that contain flaxseed for a shiny coat, pumpkin for digestive fiber and eggs for protein.
Keep Your Vet Appointments
Granted, this suggestion might not rank high on your companion’s list of favorite things. However, regular veterinary checkups are vital to keeping your pet healthy. Your vet can identify issues and suggest practices, such as dietary changes, to give them as long and enjoyable a life as possible. If you wouldn’t skip your annual physical, don’t neglect your loyal pal.
Invent A New Game
Playing with your dog or cat is a blast! Pups rarely flag in enthusiasm and kitties can leave you in stitches with their antics. I playfully refer to one of my felines as “Pele” because she was born to play soccer. She doesn’t fetch, but she loves nothing more than when I toss a jingly ball toy her way so that she can bat it away with her paws like a skilled goalie.
Get creative! Think back to the games you played as a child, and give them a canine twist. Remember, “red light, green light?” Why not invent a variation that doubles as a training tool to teach Rex to sit and stay?
Find Them A Companion
Like humans, animals can get lonely. If you spend considerable time away from home, a companion can keep your pup or kitty entertained and calmer in your absence. Plus, if you still have a few weeks of working-from-home left, you can use the time to supervise their socialization.
Tragically, the pandemic created a crisis for animal shelters, too. Think of the rush of positive emotions you’ll feel when you rescue a dog or cat from death row.
Up Their Entertainment While You’re Away
Maybe your landlord puts a limit on the number of pets you can adopt, or perhaps you already have a full house. You can still show you care by entertaining them while you’re away. If your pets have separation anxiety, you can buy specialty essential oil products that calm them naturally. Use caution — some oils can prove toxic to pets. Here’s one area where homemade isn’t necessarily healthier. Stick with commercial preparations.
You can also hop on YouTube and search for videos for cats and dogs. They have a ton of relaxing nature videos featuring frolicking birds to entertain your lonely feline. Some feature beautiful background music that can help you focus as you work or study, too. Yours truly may or may not have cardinals fluttering on my TV screen while Native American flutes play in the background.
Let Them Sleep In The Bed
Sleep experts advise keeping your pets out of the bedroom if you have insomnia. However, banishing them to the living areas can make them feel lonely, especially if you have been away all day. Unless doing so severely jeopardizes your health by keeping you awake with allergies, let them sleep in the bed. If you live alone, you’ll feel safer with Fido by your side, and cuddling with a warm kitty beats a teddy bear.
Show Your Pets Some Extra Love With These 10 Tips
Pets need extra love for all the joy they bring to your life. Treat them to something special today by choosing one of these ten tips and going wild with your four-legged friend.
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