From sloppy wet kisses to purr-filled snuggles, animals have a special knack for brightening our days with their love and affection. As pet parents, we want our best friends to stay happy and healthy so we can enjoy each other’s company for many years. Looking for some ways to spoil the adorable fluffball in your life? Check out these seven tips on how to give your pet the best life has to offer.
1. Treat Your Pet to a Spa Day
Almost everyone feels better after a day of pampering, and our pets are no different. Schedule an appointment for your dog to spend a luxurious afternoon at the salon. Many shops also offer cat grooming, including baths, pedicures, and haircuts. Some even have massage services to help relieve pain from arthritis or aid in relaxation.
But grooming does more than make them smell better and look cuter. Routine baths and trims are also important to an animal’s health. Without attention, painful mats can develop in their fur, resulting in skin irritations and infection. Springing for a cut and style will keep their coats shiny and soft and make them feel like the beautiful creatures they are.
2. Buy Some New Bling
There’s nothing quite like a fetching new outfit or accessory when it comes to increasing confidence. Even if your dog or cat isn’t keen on wearing clothes, you can still spoil them with a cool new collar or harness. Better yet, add a little something shiny to their new necklace in the form of an updated ID tag.
The American Humane Association estimates that every year, there are about 10 million lost pets in the United States. Many of them end up in shelters and are never reunited with their owners because of missing or outdated contact details. One of the simplest ways to make sure you avoid this heartbreaking situation is to keep tags and microchip information current.
Even indoor animals should wear ID in case they accidentally get out. Each tag should clearly show an owner’s name and telephone number. Include an address as well if there is enough room. Microchips can also help your pet get home if your dog or cat loses its collar. Having both is the ideal solution. Visit your veterinarian to learn more about this quick and easy procedure.
3. Design Their Own Decked Out Pad
Whether it’s a small corner or an entire room, create a safe spot where your pet can hide, relax, or sleep. Knowing they have somewhere to go will help them feel more comfortable and secure. It can also be handy as a tool for housebreaking or in circumstances where you must confine them.
A kennel, pet bed, or blanket can even help with other kinds of dog training. Teaching your pup the “go to place” command is very useful if you need to remove your pet from a situation or get them to calm down. Once they are familiar with this cue, you can get your dog to stay in a designated area until they have been given permission to move.
When setting up a special place for your dog or cat, choose a location that’s quiet and a bit out of the way. Start by adding sturdy pet furniture such as a comfy bed or wire crate. Include some cozy blankets they can curl up in, but steer clear of loopy fabrics that can catch on nails. For safety, skip this step if your pooch has a tendency to chew on things when unsupervised.
4. Fine Dining for Fido and Felines
Maybe the way to your furry friend’s heart is through their stomach. Satisfy their palate with some high-quality culinary delights. From an everyday diet to treats, you can find a wide array of choices at pet shops and most grocery stores. The trick is to know what you should splurge on and which things to avoid.
When it comes to choosing healthy dog or cat food, all of those options can be pretty confusing. A good first step is to learn about nutritional guidelines. Cost can sometimes be misleading. Doing research beforehand may save you money and allow you to avoid food that’s more hype than helpful. Some diets can have potentially negative effects so check with your vet if you need more advice.
With treats, quality is important. Go for the best possible option that fits your budget. Skip the people food entirely unless you choose pet-safe fruits or vegetables. Also, keep in mind that, while the occasional edible indulgence is fine, quantity matters most. More than half of the cats and dogs in the United States are overweight or obese, which can lead to illness and shorter lifespans.
5. Frolic in the Great Outdoors
Nothing’s more exciting than going on an adventure. A simple car ride, a few minutes at the dog park, or a hike through the woods is often enough to make any canine blissfully happy. But they aren’t the only pets that can benefit from more exercise and fresh air.
Jackson Galaxy, the cat behaviorist best known for his TV show My Cat from Hell, says going outdoors, if they show an interest, is a great way to add a little variety to your favorite feline’s life. Training your cat on a leash involves time and patience for sure, but why not give it a try? Grab a stylish harness and matching leash for your kitty on your next pet store shopping spree.
6. Indulge Their Playful Spirit with a New Toy
Keeping your cat or dog entertained adds joy to their lives and it can reduce behavior problems caused by boredom. Interactive dog toys like puzzles that require problem-solving provide much needed mental stimulation, especially for pets that spend most of their time indoors. Surprise your cat with a plush catnip mouse or get a feather wand and join in the fun.
7. Mingle with New BFFs
Most of us spend time away from home working or taking care of other responsibilities. For convenience and safety, our pets often stay behind. This gets boring and lonely for them and usually results in taking long naps since there’s not much else to do. Help them shake off the sadness, brush up their social skills, and find a best furry friend.
There are tons of ways to make pet friends no matter where you live. Whether it’s inviting a neighbor over with her new puppy or planning a playdate for your cat, exposure to other people and animals is a good way to reduce fear-based behaviors by increasing their confidence in different situations.
In addition to being fun and great exercise, socialization also presents opportunities to learn new skills or make a difference in your community. Consider joining a Canine Good Citizen class or training as a therapy pet together so you can bring joy to patients in hospitals or nursing homes. If you’re new to an area, go high tech and use an app to connect with other owners nearby.
The Greatest Gift of All
Regardless of what activities you choose or how many presents you shower them with, the very best gift you can give your pet is your attention. Ensure more time together and make the most of those years by looking after their health and creating lasting memories. After all, there’s no better way to repay our pets for their kindness and unconditional love than by showing them the same in return.