February 20 is designated National Love Your Pet Day, a day set aside to show the animals in our lives just how much we appreciate them. Of course, most of us show our pets we love them every day, but there are still lots of ways you can make the day extra special for you and your pet.
What pet doesn’t appreciate a little extra playtime? For dogs, that could mean taking the long path through the park or engaging in an extra game of fetch with a new toy. For cats, a wand or tease-toy is almost always a welcome diversion. [Editor’s Note: Cecily recommends Stark Raving Cat™ ACME TNT Sticks.] Playtime isn’t simply fun—it’s healthy exercise that builds muscle and releases stress. It’s also a great way to honor those animal instincts that make our pets special.
Like many animal species that historically relied on their senses to hunt prey and escape predators, dogs and cats have highly developed senses of hearing and smell. One way to celebrate your pet is to reduce the noise level in your home and give your pets a little quiet time. Maybe have an evening without TV, or reduce the speaker volume on your tech devices for the day.
There’s rarely a bad time to reinforce the basic training commands you’ve established with your dog. A quick refresher is a great way for you and your pup to reaffirm your bond and can help reinforce desirable behaviors in your pet. Remember to have a good supply of treats on hand as rewards.
Life is busy and often it’s difficult to take time to simply be with our pets, so take a few minutes for some extra cuddles with your dog or cat. Remember that touch is a powerful sense and a fundamental way we communicate affection to our pets. Most pets are social animals, and to them, we humans are part of their pack or pride, so touch nor only expresses affection but strengthens the social bonds we share.
Do Something Special With Your Pup
- Explore a new dog park or treat your canine companion to a spa day.
- Make some home-made pet treats (check online for recipes on Pinterest and Pretty Fluffy).
- Schedule a play date with one of your pet’s favorite animal pal.
We hope that however you choose to celebrate National Love Your Pet Day, that you and your pets strengthen the bonds that make you a family.
Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.
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