10 Ways to Improve Your Bond with Your Pet
Happy National Pet Day! In honor of the holiday, we’re highlighting ways you can better bond with your furry – or not so furry – friend. Just like humans, animals need love and support and positive affirmations, and time well spent with them in order to feel loved. Here’s some ways to show your loved one you care:
1. Spend quality time together
This may seem obvious, but it’s a good reminder for those of us who have extremely busy schedules. Plan to take your dog to the dog park or on an extended walk or hike, at least once a week, and make sure they get plenty of time outdoors in between. Cuddle with them, watch a movie with them, and tell them how much you love them.
2. Communicate clearly
As communication is the glue that holds a relationship together for people, it’s also true for your pet. Staying consistent with your training signals and calling them by their names will help maintain that bond and understanding. Be firm when you have to discipline a misbehaved pet, but do it in a gentle, loving way.
3. Respect your pet’s wants
If your pet has a weird thing about being pet on his or her belly, respect their wishes. If they need extra time cuddling when you get home from work, give them that attention. Once you commit to having a pet, you need to commit to loving and listening to them, too.
4. Make every experience positive
When you have to take your beloved pet to the vet for a checkup, or give them a bath, they may not like it. Make it a positive experience by using toys, treats and a gradual introduction to the event for a more pleasant situation.
5. Play together
This especially goes for dogs, who need plenty of activity and playtime. Go to the park or play indoors every day – try games such as catch or even gently wrestling. Dogs serve as great reminders to never take life too seriously.
6. Travel together
If you are able to take your pet on your travels, or even on your daily errands, do it! The less time they spend tied up at home, the better. This also improves your bond by spending more time together. Traveling will definitely be an adventure for them, too!
7. Learn their language
For dogs, they have to try to understand our language. Meet them halfway by learning their language with Dr. Sophia Yin’s body language charts.
8. Set rules, early
When you first get your pet, it’s important to establish the rules first. For example, if you don’t want them sleeping in your bed, create a comfortable sleeping atmosphere for them outside of the bedroom, and be strict about it. This will immediately give them the message, so they don’t get used to unhealthy habits later – or get shocked when you change your mind.
9. Spend some one-on-one time
Aside from walks, spend some one-on-one time with your pet, without any distractions such as the TV or your phone. Snuggle with them, pet them or play with them and tell them how much you love them.
10. Arrange play dates
Many animals – especially dogs – are social creatures, like us! Set up play dates with fellow animals, so they can make friends and have someone of their own species to hang out with.