Whether they’re helping rescue people from perilous situations, assisting owners with medical conditions or simply listening to our woes after a hard day at work, our pets play a phenomenally important role in the lives of so many of us! And with National Pet Month (a campaign that celebrates our pets and promotes responsible pet ownership) underway, it seems the perfect time to look at all the ways we can show our four-legged friends just how much they mean to us! Read on and learn five ways to show our pets we care!
Making sure that home is their safe haven when they come back from their day’s adventures is the least we can do for our pets; and that all starts with a cosy place to sleep!
A comfy bed in a secluded spot where they won’t be disturbed, will go a long way towards making your furry friend feel happy and relaxed at home. Some pets like the security of an igloo-style bed, and for some of our feline friends, a sleeping spot at a lofty height can make them feel extra-safe. As our pets enter their more senior years, you might even want to invest in a special memory foam cushion that can help to ease any joint pain. Since cats sleep for an average of 16 hours a day1, and dogs aren’t far behind them, putting some thought into where they get their many-multiples of forty winks a day is definitely worth it!
But if, despite splashing out on a bed that seems fit for a queen, you find your fur-ball curled up on your freshly-laundered washing pile, don’t be too surprised, and take heart that all they really want is to snuggle up to something that reminds them of you!
Believe it or not, you can actually book an official “Doggy Spa Day” for your pooch, but in reality, you don’t need to spend a fortune to show your pet some TLC! Grooming your four-legged friend (for those that are keen, of course!) is a brilliant way to strengthen that bond and spend some quality time together. Not only do most pets love the attention, it’s a great chance for you to give them a quick check-over too!
You pet’s skin and coat can tell you a lot about their overall health. With regular grooming sessions you can get a feel for what’s normal for your pet, which helps you to spot anything unusual, like any changes to their coat condition, hair loss or any unexpected lumps or bumps.
Grooming your fur-ball regularly also allows you to keep an eye out for any pesky parasites that might have hopped on board when your moggy or pooch was out on their adventures! Fleas and ticks can leap onto your pet when they’re exploring outside, and as well as being understandably irritating, these annoying critters feed on blood and can cause a range of problems, for us as well as our pets!
Making sure our pets get enough exercise is important, but there’s no rule that says fitness can’t be fun! One of the wonderful things about our pets is their sheer delight in the simple art of play, and there’s a lot of joy to be had in trying to figure out which types of games your pet loves the best! Maybe your dog likes fetch, or tug of war, or hide and seek? Does your cat love chasing a toy on the end of a string, or batting a ball around? Some breeds of dog are primed to prefer certain activities (retrievers aren’t so-named for nothing), but our pets are full of surprises, and mixing up how you play with them will keep them on their toes!
If you want to spice things up a bit, you can always try something new; agility sessions or training classes for dogs can give your pooch a great work out- both physically and mentally. But keeping things simple is great too, and your pet will be delighted with some old-fashioned garden fun!
If you’re going to be out of the house for a few hours, there are some fantastic toys that can keep your furry friends entertained in your absence. Snuffle mats encourage pets to search out small treats hidden among the mat strands, and filling Kong toys with pet-friendly food can keep your pooch entertained for ages.
Ok, so a trip to the vets might not be high on your pet’s priority list on a lazy Sunday morning, but being able to run and play and enjoy life to the full certainly is, and part of our role as their owners (or some would say, butlers), is to help keep them as healthy as they can be!
Your vet practice is a great source of advice for all your pet’s health needs. Not only will your vet give your pet a thorough check over, they’ll also recommend preventative treatments that help keep them in tip-top shape. Keeping up with their vaccinations, for example, gives you the peace of mind that they’re protected against some nasty diseases, and your vet can advise you on a range of other things, such as micro-chipping and looking after your pet’s dental health.
Another threat to our pets’ well-being is pesky parasites that can lurk in some unexpected places. Our dogs and cats can pick up fleas and ticks when they’re exploring in the great outdoors, these irritating blood-sucking critters aren’t just annoying, they can pass on diseases when they feed. Pets can be under attack on the inside too: roundworms and tapeworms, which really are as revolting as they sound, can live inside our pets, stealing their food and affecting their health.
Thankfully protecting our pets from parasites is straightforward. Fipnil Plus is a spot-on that kills fleas and ticks, and can be used monthly on both cats and dogs to keep them protected against these irritating pests. Prazitel Plus tablets for dogs and Prazitel tablets for cats kill every type of intestinal worm commonly affecting UK dogs and cats, respectively.
Our pets may not be able to talk (though we’ve spent many an amusing hour thinking what they might say if they could!), but they still have extremely effective ways of communicating with us, and learning to read our pet’s body language is key to building a great relationship with our four-legged friends.
Recognising subtle signs that they might be stressed or scared (for example yawning and lip-licking in dogs can be a sign of anxiety) helps us make sure we give them the space they need while we figure out what might be upsetting them. Equally, learning to spot when they’re happy and relaxed, or simply excited and ready to play, helps us respond to them in the way they need!
Our feline friends have some unique behaviours that can be puzzling to the uninitiated, but there’s a wealth of information available on the topic, and feline behaviourists can also offer advice if you’re struggling with your cat’s behaviour; the APBC (association of pet behaviour counsellors) is a great place to look for advice.
You don’t need grand gestures or deep pockets to show your pet how much you care! Learning to understand and respond to their needs, protecting their health, and simply spending one-on-one time with them every day, is all it takes to show your four-legged family member just how much they mean to you!