February is the month of love, and you know how much love your pets add to your life. You want to return that love to let them know how precious they are to you. But have you thought of what your pet needs to be truly loved?
Give Your Pets What They Need
It’s only natural for people to give their pets the things that they would appreciate receiving, but pets are different species, so they have different needs and desires.
Dogs are pack animals, so your presence is the best present you can give your dog. Exercise and playing with you simulates hunting with the pack—a necessity for your dog’s mental, emotional and physical health.
Cats are usually more solitary types, but they appreciate play that simulates hunting. Short bursts of intense physical activity followed by a snack and a nap is the cat’s meow.
Give Your Pets What They Want
There is one constant between humans and pets. The desire to be near and to interact with loved ones. Give your pets your time. You may not have large blocks of time to spare, but there is truth to “quality time” even if it’s a few minutes at a time.
A peaceful environment where pets feel safe is another gift you can give your pet. Take time for training, so your pet knows what acceptable behavior is. Pets don’t understand punishment, so catch them doing the right thing and praise that behavior. Instead of yelling, “No!” which raises your blood pressure and confuses the animal, give him something to do – go lie down in his bed or safe spot with a small treat or favorite toy.
Be consistent with your expectations for your pet. If you like your dog to jump up to greet you when you have your sweats on, remember that she will also jump on you when you’re wearing your good clothes too. You can have it both ways by teaching your dog a cue to give you a hug when appropriate and a different cue for staying down.
High quality food, a comfortable place to rest and good company are the ways to show love to your pet. Don’t forget to get a Hale Pet Door so your pet can go outside when necessary and come back into the house again.