How do you show your pet you love them?
Do you buy them special treats, a pampering session or a new outfit?
Do you give them lots of hugs and cuddles or get them a friend to play with so they are never lonely?
Do you take loads of selfies with them to share online?
If this is you then STOP!
YOU might think these are brilliant ways to show your pets you adore them but it is quite possible that they do not!
No animal is going to turn down an extra meal or a box of (doggy!) chocolate but indulging them regularly will only make them fat! And being fat will give them health problems and potentially shorten their lives. Your love is literally killing them.
The occasional extra is fine of course, but make them work for it and make sure they deserve it! Sitting nicely and waiting rather than knocking you over when you come home, coming back to you on a walk instead of developing temporary deafness, learning a new trick!
A salon visit?
So look, I know you probably enjoy getting your nails done and having a blow dry but our pets just don’t have the same attitude to personal care!
A good grooming session is often necessary but painted nails and dye jobs are not!
A new outfit?
I don’t want to be a killjoy here and I think a dog in a tutu is as cute as the next person but, again, you realise that is entirely for our benefit, right? Gucci and Tallulah honestly do not need a full wardrobe of clothes. What they need is your attention, training and a good run around with all four feet on the floor!
Hugs and cuddles?
This really depends on your pet. Our dogs often enjoy a good snuggle but cats and rabbits can find them very stressful! Cats like to be the masters of their own destinies, so often object to being scooped up, especially out of the blue. If they CHOSE to come for fuss, that is OK, but you deciding for them? Nu uh!! Rabbits are prey animals and so are naturally flighty, a well handled bun will often enjoy being with you but for many, it can be very unpleasant.
Social animals like dogs often love having a buddy around but they are also quite capable of coping on their own. Cats have a similar attitude to their own species that teenagers have to younger siblings. They might tolerate them but they do NOT want to be pals! Your cat is supremely happy with their own company, thank you very much.
But for rabbits, a best friend is an absolute basic requirement. If you have a bun and they don’t have a hun, get on the phone to your local rescue ASAP!
No judgement from me on this one, I am also a big fan but also, post pictures of you on walks and playing as well!
So what can you do to prove your devotion?
Spend time with your pet doing something THEY love. So out for walks with your dog, play with them, teach them tricks. Playing with your rabbit but for the cat? Sitting on the sofa and ignoring them is just fine!
Toys (and you don’t always have to buy them!).
Pets, love new things but they soon lose interest! Take all the toys you have in the house and hide them, bringing just a couple out at a time. Toys you can stuff with food are also great and will hold their interest for ages!
(OK – I am reaching a little with the alliteration here!) But if you want your pet to look smart, indulge in a new collar and lead, or a halti if they are bit of a puller! A good quality coat is always a good idea, especially for thinly haired dogs, but an outfit for every occasion, is not.
(Picture from Creative Collars on Facebook! Check them out!)
The bottom line is our pets don’t love stuff, they love us. And the best way to repay their adoration is, simply, to make them as important in our lives as we are in theirs!
If you like this blog, why not check out ‘Pugs Can’t Dance … And Other Canine Confusions!’