Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
I realize that for pet lovers, #SpoilYourPet is something that likely happens every day. If, however, you’re looking for a way to truly spoil him or her during February, aka Valentine’s, I have a few tips that I know that Henrietta, the Diva Poodle, and Crazy Calico Lucy (and all the other pets in the house enjoy).
Remember when we say “spoil your pet” that doesn’t mean feeding them table foods or letting them sit in the front seat of the car on your lap while you’re driving or not teaching them to be good citizens, instead it means (perhaps) some of these:
- Be as open with your emotions with them as they are with you. Even if you’re having a bad day, take a moment to relish in the enthusiasm with which your pet greets you. Revel in that and you’ll not only be spoiling them, but you’ll be helping put yourself into a better mood!
- Find your pets’ “sweet spot” and offer rubs. Henrietta absolutely loves to have her ears rubbed. She goes into an almost trance-like state when I rub them. She doesn’t love her belly rubbed so I steer clear. Lucy does not like being picked up, but she will pace until I sit down and then she will jump up in my lap and purr away. Spenser loves chest rubs, Jessie and Parker enjoy being picked up and cuddled, Clyde loves rubbing his face on your face. The ferrets, Dexter and Marla, love any kind of attention. The bearded dragon? Well, he just loves crickets and sometimes being picked up. Once you know what your pet likes, and doesn’t give them more of that. It could be trial and error, because just like people, our pets have different likes and dislikes.
- When it comes to treats, offer your pets high quality, human grade treats. We learned in a Google Hangout with Dr. Patrick Mahaney that we should be reading the labels on everything we feed our pets and should be avoiding preservatives, fillers, BHA and BHT.
- Spoil your pets by brushing their teeth. When you consider that dental disease can be easily prevented by offering dental chew treats and brushing their teeth, it is an ideal way to “spoil” them — by keeping them healthy!
- Keeping your pets active is part of being a good pet parent. In know that here, in the frozen tundra of Western New York, taking Henrietta outside for a walk or even to run around the yard is out of the question, instead we have to exercise inside the house. How? She loves to play hide and seek with her toys. I hide her toys, call out the name of a particular toy (she can distinguish at least seven of them by name) and she runs around the house until she finds them. It keeps both her mind and body agile. The kitties love chasing the laser light and toys on strings so we make sure they spend time during each day being active. Spenser, the husky-lab mix loves this weather so he is more than happy to plow through two feet high snow piles and run up and down the trails that have been snow blown in the yard — this is definitely his weather. Even the ferrets get exercise. They run around my daughter’s bed, play in their playpen and frolic in their hammock and the shelves in their cage.
- If you’re taking a road trip with your pets — even if it’s just up to the corner store — make sure they’re in a safety seat and never leave them alone in the car. It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or winter, a car is no place for a pet to be left alone.
Bottom line, when it comes to spoiling our pets, what they really crave from us is love and care (that includes regular vet check-ups); what they give to us is unconditional and lifelong love and isn’t that what “spoiling” is all about!? I’d love to hear how you spoil your pets and how they spoil you.