Max is whining incessantly, and loudly. Then he wants out every five minutes, so he can go on the porch and stare at me before coming right back in. Saint is on the fish tank, the Christmas tree, the kitchen counter, aaannnd now there’s shattered glass and ice water all over the floor. I’m ready to scream…Sound familiar? If your generally sweet pets are acting up and driving you mad, I have good news. It’s probably not their fault, and it’s probably an easy fix.
Hey everyone, so if you follow my blog you’ve noticed I haven’t been around in a while. I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been swamped pampering my pets and creating lots of awesome content for you guys, but the truth is I just haven’t been a very pampering pet parent at all recently. I fell into the classic “I’m too busy” trap, only to find myself more stressed and cohabitating with bored, attention deprived animals. It happens to the best of us, when we just feel too overwhelmed to go the extra mile for our pets, but it doesn’t have to. Here’s what I’m doing to give my pet-parent relationships a fresh kick. Feel free to steal an idea, or two, if you need them.
Learn something new
There are few things that bring you together with your pets like learning a new trick. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Training is one of the few things that: bonds, creates security, uses pent up energy, and exercises the mind all at once. Learning keeps the mind young, and that’s true for animals too. Five to ten minutes a day, consistently, is all you really need to master a trick. We are finding time and squeezing this in! I’m determined!
Here are some simple ideas to get you started:
Nail down the basics (sit, down, stay)
“Look” (get your dog to look at you so you can give a command no matter what else is going on)
“Shake” (This is what Max is learning)
Leash manners (have you slacked off here, use this time to polish them up)
Jump through a hoop (this is Saint’s trick)
Step Up (get your bird to easily step up on a stick or your hand)
Dance (Learn to dance together)
So this one’s not for all pets, I get that. But if your baby is all about the cuddles, then stop and cuddle! When you’re busy and stressed it does seem like you don’t have ten minutes to sit on the couch with your cat. For me this past several weeks the idea of lying on the floor and cuddling with Max has seemed like the laziest waste of time. But I was being selfish. Spending quality time with your pets is never a waste of time because it’s what they need, and your pet’s happiness is not a waste of time! If you really need to justify the time, do something productive while you cuddle. Luckily pets don’t need to have a conversation. So read, text, listen, have that conference call while holding your bunny…no one will ever know. Or while brushing your cat in your lap, and then you’ll feel like Dr. Evil 🙂
Whether you go for a walk or just play with a favorite toy, get active. Play stimulates your pets mind and body and keeps them from getting destructive. Take a few minutes to satisfy those natural urges and use up that extra energy. Max will always let me know if I’ve ignored him for too long by whining…loudly and constantly. It overbears conversations and distracts from anything I’m trying to get done. It makes me honestly crazy, but it’s easily fixed with ten minutes of fetch. So before you loose your mind over your pets behavior, think, have we played today.
So if you and your pet seem to be drifting apart, or you’re getting the constant stink eye, try one of these quick relationship fix ups. I promise you have ten minutes in your day *say I to myself. You can grow your bond and make your pets happier healthier critters.
Have some more ideas? I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment below.