Keeping a pet is not as easy as it seems on television and movies. No matter how much you love domesticated animals, the fact remains that getting one of them is a long-term commitment that you should be responsible for. Just because dogs and cats don’t seem to demand as much attention as a newborn baby in the middle of the night, it does not mean that you can leave them unattended for most of the day. You have to learn to show pet love and affection for dogs and cats or any animal you decide to take in. Remember that domesticated pets are not made to take care of themselves. Unlike animals in the wild, they are less equipped to hunt and are less capable of fending for themselves and their young, mostly because they have been used to being around humans and expect their human parents to look after them.
While you can’t show love and affection for your pet the same way you would with your own kids (although they do have a lot of similarities with newborns), here are some ways you can show your furball friends that they are among the most important in your life.
Tips for Showing Pet Love and Affection for Dogs
Learn to read their body language
Understanding your dog’s body language will be the first step to open communications with your pet and one of the best ways to show pet love and affection for dogs. Learn to read their body language and respond accordingly so that you will have a better relationship with him. Nurture their natural instincts by indulging them in activities they love best. Their breed and characteristics will also help you pick out such activities. For instance, terriers love to hunt, while retrievers are good swimmers.
Let them make their choice
Your dog too should have the right to say no when he feels uncomfortable with it, and if you respect his preference, he will learn to trust you better. In understanding his body language, it is important that you also learn when he does not want to be touched or hugged, and allow him to turn away if he wants to. Other choices your dog can make include picking his food (as long as they are within his required nutritional requirements) or taking the lead in your day’s walk.
Give your pet your full attention
Give pet love and affection for dogs by showering them with the level of care they need and deserve.
When playing with your pet, make sure that you give him your full and undivided attention, because they thrive for it. Games like tug and catch-and-retrieve make the perfect opportunity to bond with your pet. Dog-centered activities like flyball and canicross (cross-country running with your pet) are some good activities to try. However, make sure that the exercise you plan out for your pet should match to his abilities.
Allow play time with other dogs
Some dogs are more sociable than others, but if your dog does want to be in the company of other canines, you may want to arrange for play dates or organize a dog day out for socialization purposes. After all, showing pet love and affection for dogs doesn’t mean it’s you they should be with 24/7.
Keep them active by getting them to exercise
Dogs are active by nature, so it is important that they are not cooped up at home for long. Dogs too, have different exercise needs, but they do need to be out for walks every day. Walking your pet around your block a few times or having him run freely in pet-friendly parks is one way of showing pet love and affection for dogs. Whichever kind of exercise you do for your dog, make sure you do it regularly to keep him happy.
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Pay attention to teeth and gun health
Regular tooth brushing is as necessary to dogs as they are in humans. Periodontal disease is common for canines but are rarely noticed until they are in the late stages. Because of these kinds of diseases, it is also important that your dog gets his teeth checked at least once a year to detect problems earlier.
Shop for smarter meals with a food-dispensing toy
Food-dispensing toys make your dog work for his meal, so not only are you feeding him, you are also giving him important stimulation he needs. Remember, though, that this is a form of play that your dog can potentially enjoy, so make sure you fill the food dispenser only up to his daily allowance to avoid overfeeding.
Good quality diet is essential
Food should be tailored for each dog. As owner, you should take into account the breed, energy requirement, health, and life stage. You should also keep an eye out on your dog’s size. Overweight dogs are unhealthy, so make sure that he gets proper diet and exercise.
Remember that hygiene is as important to dogs as they are to humans
Dogs too should be groomed regularly to maintain their skin and coat health. Brushing your dog’s fur regularly is a pleasurable experience for him, as it is said to help release endorphins, helping him relax and lower his heart rate. More than just checking for lice and ticks, grooming also helps you asses your dog’s health by keeping an eye out for new bumps and lumps, which means that he should schedule another visit to the vet.
Protect your pets from parasites
Worms, fleas, and ticks can irritate dogs at best, but these can also result in chronic or life-threatening health problems at their worst. However, there is now a wide range of effective products that can prevent the spread of these parasites, so make sure that you check your dog for signs of them before your pet gets a full-on infestation of itchy passengers.
Take your dog on holidays
One great way to show pet love and affection for dogs is to spend more time with them. it is worth noting that more and more pet-friendly accommodations are now available around the globe. The pet industry even gave rise to pet hotels and “paw pounds.” As long as your pet does not feel stressed in these kinds of environment, there is no need to leave your favorite canine behind when you go on vacations.
Regular checkups with the vet are necessary
Revaccination is important to reduce the possibilities of diseases; however, a yearly check with the vet is more than just a booster. Visits to the vet are also an opportunity for a health assessment to help detect early signs of problems, which is why it is necessary that they should be up-to-date with their checkups and shots.
Let your pet live in a stress-free environment
Dogs recognize emotions in humans. Dogs do this by combining information they glean from different senses and form abstract mental representation of positive and negative emotional states. Too much negative energy gives them stress and agitation, which can in turn be bad for their health.
Offer dogs some companionship
Dogs are sociable by nature, so they tend to suffer from separation anxiety when they are left alone for the day. There is little to keep your dog happy while alone, but you can do to keep them occupied. Almost all ways to show pet love and affection for dogs involve you being with them as often as possible, but little do pet owners know, they also have to learn to leave their pets to be happy on their own for three hours at a time to keep them from feeling stressed for being alone too long.
Learn first aid for dogs
First aid is as important for pets as they are with humans. You will have to know what to do in case your dog chokes or suffers from injuries. From bandaging a cut paw to performing CPR on pets, first aid will help you deal with your pet’s emergencies before you can get him to his veterinarian.
Allow for a more comfortable sleep
Dogs too love to take their rest, and they would like to sleep where they feel comfortable. This is understandable because dogs spend about 50 percent of their time in dreamland, so you may not want to disturb them at this time. Dogs are flexible sleepers, but remember to keep track of their sleeping habits because a dramatic change in sleep pattern could be a symptom of health problems that you may want to look into.