Whether you’ve brought home a new pet for the first time or you find yourself staying home with your pet more often than usual, now is an excellent time to improve your relationship with them!
Just like friends and family, the relationship that you have with your pet requires attention and affection to flourish. Consider the following ways to bond with your pet this season.
1. Quality Time
Pets and pet parents that play together, stay together.
The number one way to build a close bond with your pet, especially for new pet parents, is dedicating quality time to playing with them. Parents who play with their pets often have the closest relationships, similar to parents that spend plenty of time playing with their children. Dogs and cats have the ability to create uniquely intense and close relationships with their pet parents, so carve out some time every week to play together and strengthen your relationship.
2. Mealtime Memories
Who doesn’t love to eat! They say food is the way to a man’s heart, and your pet is no different. Mealtime is a moment that pets look forward to each and every day. If you don’t already, establish a routine or ritual that plays into their excitement during mealtime. Call them over to watch you prepare their meal or try giving them a lick of the spoon as you bake a homemade treat.
3. Body Language
Considering the fact that you don’t exactly speak the same language, nonverbal communication is especially important for your pet. Pets are very attentive to your facial expressions, hand gestures and overall body language. Be mindful of not only what you say, but how you say it to make sure your pet feels welcome to cuddle on the couch or gesture that they need to go outside.
4. Outdoor Adventures
Speaking of the great outdoors, your pet probably loves a good walk in the park or bird watching in the backyard. Fresh air and sunlight is important for their health and happiness. Allow them to experience and explore the world around them with your support close by. You’ll love seeing them run themselves tired and they’ll love coming back home to down time with you.
5. Pay Attention to Petting
This simple touch is hugely important to bringing you both closer together. The comfort and closeness of your gentle petting and belly rubs are much appreciated. Some pets need more petting than others and some need more than one hand depending on their size. Pay attention to how your pet responds to petting and recognize what it means for them. Do you notice that they feel more comfortable coming to you? To you notice that they move away and need more space to themselves?
Learn what they like and adjust accordingly.
6. Identify Their Preferences
Every pet has their own personality with a combination of likes and dislikes that are unique to them. As you spend more time with your pet and learn more about them, you’ll start to recognize their favorite foods and toys as well as the loud noises or heavy-handed petting that they may not enjoy as much. By understanding what they look forward to or what they find unpleasant, you’ll be able to make sure that the time you spend together is as happy and joyful as possible!