Are you ready to unleash some serious tail-wagging fun and purr-fect joy? Whether you’ve got a barking buddy, a whisker-twitching sidekick, or a feathered friend, it’s time to shower your pet with extra attention. After all, Love Your Pet Day is Tues., Feb. 20, and who loves us more than our pets?

Give them treats and toys.

  • Store-bought treats are great, but making your pet a treat is extra special. It’s also easier than you may think. Check out our blog on easy pet treat recipes for dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and reptiles.
  • Most cats love to eat grass and need it for their digestion. You can grow your own cat grass right inside your home. Not to be confused with catnip, cat grass is a mixture of rye, barley, oat, or wheat seeds. It’s a healthy option for cats, and may keep them away from your plants.
  • Take your pet to a pet store and let him/her choose a special toy or treat. Consider Kong-style toys that you can fill with peanut butter for dogs or treat dispensing toys for all types of pets. While you may not take your bird to a pet store, try wrapping their gift. Birds can have as much fun unwrapping as they do with the treat or toy.

Spend some quality time.

  • Playtime is a great way to bond with your pet. So, grab that squeaky toy, dangle that feather wand, and get ready for some tail-chasing, treat-tossing, cuddle-filled bliss! Dance with your bird to their favorite music. Give your rabbit, bird or reptile some out-of-habitat time to safely explore under your supervision.
  • Challenge your pet with a puzzle. Hide treats in an empty egg carton. Cats love to hunt, so consider hiding feeders around the house for them to find. You can make your own puzzles for dogs, cats, and birds, or find ones online from a reputable pet supplier.
  • Schedule some cuddle time. Playtime can be exhausting so follow it with a nap on the couch or some quiet time. Follow your pet’s cue on the cuddle, though. Some pets like hugs and kisses; others do not.

 Learn your pet’s language.

  • Your pet “talks” to you in their language. Wouldn’t it be fun to know what they’re saying? Check out Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide by Brenda Aloff for dogs or Think Like a Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennett.
  • Pay attention to your pet’s nonverbal cues. Try to understand what your pet enjoys and what he or she wants.
  • Songbirds and parrots are able to mimic human speech. They need to be taught with lots of repetition. Dogs and cats have been known to press buttons that “speak” human words. Whether or not your pet communicates at these levels, you can enjoy the learning process.

Take a class, meet a friend.

  • Consider training classes for mental and physical enrichment for your pet. For dogs, there are classes on social skills, tricks, nose work, and agility. You can help your pet to earn their Canine Good Citizen or Therapy Dog certification. Look up tutorials online for tricks and activities that you can do with your type of pet.
  • Join a local pet enthusiast group. Not only will you make friends with others who love pets, you might enjoy local meetups at pet-friendly places from outdoor dining to parks, and more.

Get some exercise.

  • We and our pets both benefit from regular exercise. Get your dog walking, running, playing fetch, tug of war, learning agility, and more can help keep them physically fit. As a bonus, you’ll get exercise too.
  • Yoga is an exercise that you can do at home with your pet. Dog Yoga is increasingly popular. Incorporating your pet into your yoga routine will make them feel important and you might be more likely to exercise. Even if it’s a complete fail, you’re likely to enjoy laughter and cuddles.

 Feed them healthy food.

  • Just like humans, pets require a balanced diet to stay healthy. A diet rich in essential nutrients helps support their immune system, promotes healthy growth and development, and provides the energy they need for their daily activities.
  • A nutritious diet can prevent various health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, extending your pet’s lifespan and enhancing their quality of life. By prioritizing their nutrition, you’re investing in your pet’s long-term health and happiness, ensuring they lead a vibrant and fulfilling life by your side.

Get them groomed.

  • Regular grooming doesn’t just help your pet look their best; it helps to remove dirt, debris, and loose fur from their coat. This prevents matting and reduces the risk of skin irritations. Brushing your pet’s fur also promotes healthy circulation and distributes natural oils, keeping their coat shiny and healthy. Plus, it’s a nice time to bond with your pet.
  • Additionally, grooming sessions provide an opportunity to check for any abnormalities such as lumps, bumps, or parasites, allowing for early detection of potential health issues.

Visit the vet.

  • Just as humans need regular check-ups with a doctor, pets require routine veterinary visits to monitor their overall health, detect any potential issues early, and ensure they receive appropriate vaccinations and preventive care.
  • Pet insurance can help offset some of the larger costs of pet care. For a nominal monthly fee, you can have access to coverage that will help if your pet needs surgery or has health issues. Shop around for a pet insurance policy that fits your needs. Before you purchase, make sure you understand the deductible, the coverage limits, and the exclusions. Some policies do not cover pre-existing conditions or wellness care.


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