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Easy Ways To Make Your Pet Feel Loved
February 15, 2024

Pets make incredible companions. They provide us with comfort, friendship, endless snuggles, live entertainment, and, most importantly, unconditional love. They also just help turn our houses into homes. That special bond we share with our animal companions is very strong and powerful, but it needs to be built over time. Just like humans, pets require love to be truly happy. While it’s easy to make Fido’s tail wag or get Fluffy to start purring, if you want to ensure your pet truly feels loved, read on! A local Roanoke, VA veterinarian shares some valuable insights in the article below.

Show Your Pet Affection

Pets often crave close contact with their humans. Just giving your furry buddy belly rubs, ear scritches, and forehead pets can provide comfort and affection. Even offering a quick pet as you walk by can help pets feel safe and loved.

This is good for you as well! When you snuggle with your furry companion, a hormone called oxytocin is released in you both. This promotes a sense of security and affection. This same hormone is also released when mothers bond with their babies through cuddling, nursing, and just providing physical contact. 

It’s important to not force attention on pets, though: that could have the opposite effect, and cause them to feel uncomfortable or frightened. 

Offer Enrichment

While toys are important, they shouldn’t be the only form of enrichment your pet receives. While cats prefer to stay inside, they do enjoy watching birds and squirrels. 

Provide your pet with the chance to explore things. For smaller pets, such as birds and bunnies, this may mean daily time out of their cages. For Fluffy, you can offer her furniture and items to climb and investigate. As for Fido, he will benefit from regular walks and playtime, and perhaps occasional visits to parks and trails.

Respect Your Pet’s Needs

This one is simple, but actually encompasses quite a few things. Do some research, and learn more about your pet’s care requirements. Cats, for instance, hate using dirty litterboxes, and who can blame them? Treat pets with kindness and compassion, and do not tease them, as well as using positive reinforcement when training.

Visit Your Veterinarian Regularly

Even though Fido and Fluffy would probably prefer to stay at home rather than visit a doctor, they still need proper healthcare … just as people do. In addition to keeping up with their regular appointments, it’s also important to monitor your pet at home. Whenever you notice signs of sickness or discomfort, you should address the issue right away. Early detection and diagnosis are crucial, as so many medical issues can be treated most effectively when caught early. Ask your vet for more information.

Training And Tricks

Did you know that many dogs like learning new things? Training isn’t just good for petiquette: it also helps with bonding and provides enrichment. 

Offer Your Pet Small Comforts 

Don’t underestimate the importance of the little things. For instance, our feline pals are pretty much universally obsessed with boxes. Give your kitty that empty Amazon box to look adorable in! 

A good bed is a must. This can make a huge difference to your pet’s quality of life. Orthopedic beds are ideal for many dogs, particularly seniors and large dogs. Cats, of course, are all about those naps. You can create comfy napping spots for your feline buddy just by placing soft folded blankets into boxes or baskets or placing them on ottomans.

Maintain Your Pet’s Grooming Needs

Animals often groom each other to show affection and love. Even brushing your pet can make them feel loved and safe. This applies to baths, too. Fido may not be particularly fond of baths, but he will feel much more comfortable with clean fur. Fluffy probably won’t be very happy about being bathed, but she usually likes being brushed. 

Don’t forget nail care and dental care! Ask your vet for advice on this.

Play With Your Pet

It’s always endearing to watch pets’ excitement upon receiving a new toy. Periodically add new toys into your furry pal’s collection. If you’re on a tight budget, consider DIY alternatives. Upcycling old clothes, such as shirts or jeans, can be an easy way for you to create fun toys, such as rope toys for Fido or catnip mice for Fluffy.

Let Your Pet Cuddle With You At Night

This one is mostly for our feline buddies. The majority of people prefer not to let Fido sleep in their beds, which is understandable. However, cats actually love snuggling up with their humans at night. Fluffy actually adjusts her napping schedule in order to suit yours! (She may also wake you up by pouncing on your toes, and tends to take over the bed, but she’ll make up for it with her cuddles and purrs.)

Really Get To Know Your Pet

Research indicates that the average pooch can learn about 165 words. However, some super smart pups can learn up to 250. That’s pretty impressive! 

Even if your pet doesn’t understand you, talking to him will still be beneficial. The sound of your voice will soothe your furry friend. Plus, they’ll know that you’re communicating with them.

Always use a soft, friendly tone. Many of our animal companions love and respond to baby talk, but it’s not a must. The important thing is to take note of how your pet reacts. You may notice that your furry friend is responding in some way. Pets often become more interactive when you talk to and interact with them. Fido may tilt his head when you ask him a question, while Fluffy may purr, rub up against you, or affectionately head-butt you. Some kitties also meow back when spoken to, which is always super cute.

Make It A Habit To Play With Your Pet

Try to carve out at least a few minutes of pet playtime every day. Playing is important for both bonding and making pets feel loved and safe. It will also help keep your pet fit and strong. 

Keep in mind that every pet is unique. Our canine and feline pals all have their own preferences regarding how they would like to be entertained. One cat may love smacking ice cubes around the kitchen floor, while another may prefer chasing that pesky red dot from a laser pointer. Try different toys and games and see which one your pet likes best.

Learn To Read Your Pet

Fluffy and Fido can’t tell us how they feel. Therefore, in order to know how pets are feeling, we need to rely on nonverbal cues. While most people know the basics, there are many subtleties that can be overlooked. A cat may sit in a hunched position if it is uneasy, but not everyone will pick up on that. As for Fido, we associate tail wags with happy dogs. However, there are nuances there. A dog may wag his tail slowly if he is feeling threatened or uncertain. Become familiar with your pet’s behavior, stance, and expression.

Additionally, it’s important to learn the signs of discomfort and pain. Some are obvious, but others can be quite subtle. Contact your Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic immediately if you notice anything wrong.

Conclusion: We can forge incredibly powerful bonds with our animal companions. However, that relationship and bond between pets and their humans doesn’t just happen on their own. Small touches can make a huge difference in making pets feel loved and improving their quality of life.

Do you have questions about your pet’s care? Do you need to make an appointment for your pet? Call us, your local Roanoke, VA veterinary clinic, anytime!

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