Our pets know we love them. They feel it when we snuggle with them, give them delicious food and treats, and engage with them in their favorite ways. Loving our pets is all about meeting their needs and making them feel safe. Following is our list of top ways to show your pet you love them this Valentine’s Day and beyond.
Our pets are individuals. Some pets love snuggles while others prefer to simply be in our presence. Getting to know our pet’s affection requirements and preferences allows us to build beautiful relationships with them. Considering their consent, comfort, and enjoyment allows us to make them feel like they have a say and choice in our interactions, which is the foundation for healthy companionship.
Just because we like to squeeze and cuddle all the time, doesn’t mean our pets are always in the mood for physical touch. Learning our pet’s body language and respecting their boundaries is a wonderful way to bond with them. It’s also a great way to encourage their interaction with us. If they approach us for pets, we can engage. If they don’t, we can assume they are content simply resting nearby.
When our pets come into our lives and homes, they depend on us for their care and survival. Unfortunately, our pets can’t tell us when they are bored, feeling down, or sick. They do, however, let us know through their behavior. When we pick up on our pet’s nonverbal communication, we learn a lot about them. We can then prioritize enriching their lives through play, exercise, and quality time. Even zoo and wild animals enjoy enrichment, our pets are no different.
Many of our midday dog walking clients mention that their dogs wait for us by the door every day. By lying near the front door, these dogs are expressing their excitement for this important part of their daily routine. They look forward to engaging with their environment, walking in their neighborhood, and enjoying physical and mental stimulation. Walking, playtime, trick training, etc. can add great joy to our beloved pets’ lives.
While many pet parents think that their pets, dogs in particular, need to be out and about to socialize, that isn’t always the case. Many pets prefer one-on-one interaction with humans and other pets over experiences like dog parks and events. If you have a super outgoing pet, taking them out and about around tons of strangers might fill their hearts but, in our experience, most pets prefer to avoid unpredictable situations. They prefer to walk on a leash, engage with known neighbors, and interact with familiar house guests.
If you’re worried that your pet isn’t getting enough socialization, consider downloading the DogHood App to find a one-on-one playdate for your pet. Or, invite a pet-loving friend or family member to come over for a meal or refreshment. Let your pets interact with them on their own terms so that they feel safe socializing with those outside of their immediate family.
Safe and controlled socialization also happens when pets are left in the care of a professional pet sitter for either midday dog walks or pet sitting visits. As professionals, we recognize each pet’s limitations and always respect their boundaries. We are trained in feline and canine body language, allowing us to prevent putting pets in situations that will negatively affect future interactions.
We all wish we had the time to make healthy and delicious meals for every member of our family, pets included. Unfortunately, life is busy and it’s unrealistic to think we can make everything we consume from scratch. For this reason, we always encourage our clients to feed their pets the best food they can afford. Whether it’s kibble, commercial raw food, or homemade pet food of any kind, it’s important to ensure that your pet is fed a species-appropriate food that meets their nutritional requirements and is designed to keep their bodies healthy at every age.
It is oftentimes difficult to navigate all the pet food options out there. We recommend you pay our local pet food store, The Feed Bag, for help choosing what’s best for your particular pet. The Feed Bag has been helping Old Saybrook families choose the best products for their pets for years.
Combining affection, enrichment, socialization, and nutrition, we can truly make our pets happy. To learn more about how Shoreline Happy Paws can help you meet your pet’s needs, contact us at email@example.com or call 860- 964-0464.