“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened” –Anatole France.
You know you can relate to these words when you look at the face of your golden retriever and feel like you are home. Having a pet in your life is one of the greatest experiences that you can have. Your pet becomes your family and they complete you and your life and it’s crazy how the relationship you share with your pet is better than those you share with your fellow humans. Your pet gives you everything they can, in the form of love and affection, but are you doing the same? Animals have no voice, they can’t ask for help when in distress, they can’t ask you for their share of freedom and protection; they are dependent on you for everything if you bring one home and so, you should keep them as happy as you can. Here are the things you can do for your pet; add extra cuddles to it and you will the best ‘human’ for your pet.
10. Brush the coat
While washing your pet is necessary, brushing their coat is equally crucial. If you don’t brush your pet’s coat, here’s why you should start the practice. Brushing helps to promote blood circulation, distributes the natural oil evenly which is, of course, good for your pet’s skin and fur. It also helps you observe little changes that otherwise go unnoticed like discolorations and tumors which sometimes might be lethal. And of course your dog will love being brushed and the practice will help you bond better with your pet.
9. Car rides
On the days when you are feeling lazy, you can take your dog for a car ride instead of the park. Let him stick his head out of the car window and feel the wind in his fur but take safety measures all the same. Let him take in the scenes and the fresh air and his tail will be wagging happily by the end of the ride. It will give him one of the happiest experiences of his life. Take all the necessary things with you and if it’s his first ride, take a family member with you to hold and calm him.
8. Talk to your pet
Did you know that your dog can memorize and understand more than 200 words that you speak to him? Dogs are equivalent to toddlers and can understand what you are saying to them. You can tell by your pet’s body language that they understand you; mention the word vet and you’ll watch him recoil, for instance. Talk to him and he will be happy just by the fact that you and he are spending some quality time together. Moreover, the practice is as good for you as it is for him, you will find yourself talking to him about anything and everything; sometimes your pet can be the best listener when you need one.
7. Never hit them
It doesn’t matter if he broke the vase or ruined your garden; do not hit your pet. You should be teaching your dog instead of forcing and threatening them. Use positive punishments instead of negative ones. Pat him softly, give him happy praises and treats when he’s on his best behavior which will encourage him to be well-behaved. And when he crosses a line, softly scold him or skip his treat; that is likely to condition him to behave properly. Being violent isn’t humane and instead of taming your pet, it will traumatize him and rob him of his happiness.
6. Cool, frozen treats in summer
Our summers are incomplete without ice creams and popsicles but it’s hard to have some with those puppy eyes staring at you asking for a lick. But of course, we can’t feed them human food and playing in the sun can be exhausting, so whip up some yummy frozen treats for your best friend. You can find tons of easy ideas and recipes online and your dog will absolutely love them and they will leave his tail wagging happily. The treats will keep your pup occupied for a while and are a great way to cool down after having spent the day outdoors. But anything in excess is harmful, so don’t over-feed your dog even when he barks at you for more.
5. Trip to the vet
Taking good care of your pet, once you have adopted them, is your responsibility. Merely providing food, water, and shelter to your pet isn’t enough; you must take your dog for a regular health check-up to a vet. Keep a close eye on his behavior, diet, and appearance and if anything seems out of place; don’t think twice before heading to the vet no matter what.
4. Play with your pet
The more you are involved with your dog, the happier he will be. Playing with your dog will strengthen your bond with him and he will feel secure with you. You can throw him a ball to fetch or a Frisbee or you can teach him a trick or two. Not only it is absolutely beneficial for the dog but it will make you feel better too. Playing with your pet after a long, tiring day at work will instantly relieve you of stress and give you a boost. The best therapist has fur and four legs, haven’t you heard?
3. Exercise Regularly
This is highly obvious but here’s a quick reminder of its significance in your dog’s lifestyle. A quick game of fetch or a stroll through the park is a really important part of your pet’s regime. It has mental and social benefits for your pet; your dog learns to adjust to the neighborhood and its people. If you don’t take your dog out, he may become aggressive and might bark profusely and chew everything in sight. A well-exercised dog, on the other hand, learns to bond with you, isn’t bored and stays relaxed.
2. High-quality pet food
You can’t be unhappy when you are having a good meal and same goes for your pet. Feed high-quality pet food to your furry friend that contains all the required vitamins and minerals. A healthy diet will ensure that your pet is healthy and leads a long life and hence the decision of choosing a suitable brand of pet food should not be taken lightly. Check the label for ingredients before buying the pet food and feed your dog right amount timely.
1. Plenty of fresh, clean water
Just like us humans, our pets need to stay hydrated all day long; especially during summers. It is the cheapest way to ensure that your dog is happy and healthy. Get a wide bowl with flat bottom so that your dog doesn’t knock it over when he decides to get a little naughty. Take care to change the water daily or twice in a day and don’t forget to clean the water dish regularly as we wouldn’t our pets to fall sick. And if your dog is reluctant to drink water, add few meat chunks to it or a tasty broth and see how he laps it up.