We were guilty of giving him human food, he has stolen broccoli from my plate, we have now stopped so we can get his ibd under control. Sometimes spoiling your pet is actually doing more harm than good. So how do we safely reward our pets without causing any problems down the road?
- Spend Time With Them. This seems like a no brainer, but you are your pets entire world. All they want to do is be near you, so lets reward them with our full attention. Put down the phone and really engage with your dog either through play, training or exercise. Even better, practice all 3!
- Pay Attention to Grooming. While your pet may be perfectly content with their natural aroma, you probably aren’t, so baths happen fairly regularly. Make sure to pay special attention to their ears, as ear infections/mites can cause discomfort to your pet. Regular nail care is often overlooked, but keeping the nails/claws short also allows for regular inspection of the feet.
- Watch Their Diet. As I mentioned before, we were forced to completely change Jack’s diet due to a diagnosis of IBD, an inflammation of the intestines due to an allergy. We were unaware that allergies could suddenly develop, but thankfully the change was easy. For most pets this won’t be an issues, but it’s important to understand exactly what’s in their food and to keep “human food” out of their mouths since some may be toxic to your pet.
- Keep Their Social Calendar Full. Take your dog for play dates or to the dog park. It’s important that they develop social skills early on, so that they have good manners with everyone, human and canine alike. Keep toys out of social time. This can lead to some aggressive behavior, which can be difficult to predict.
- Brain Teasers. I often rotate my cats toys, so he doesn’t tire of them too quickly, but he still receives new toys fairly regularly. My new favorite is a puzzle box that I hide his treats in before leaving. This keeps him engaged and thinking as well as draws on his natural instincts to hunt for his food. Whether you continue to teach your dog new tricks or use a puzzle toy to keep him engaged, you are helping keep your pets brain active and alert. This is especially important for our senior pets.
So whatever your favorite way to spoil your pet is, be sure to set aside a little time this Valentine’s Day to show your pet how much you love them.