Valentine’s Day may be behind us but there’s another day of love coming up, and this time it’s our fur babies that are getting all the attention. February 20th marks this year’s National Love Your Pet Day!
According to Statista, there are around 51 million pets in the UK. With 45% of all UK households having at least one pet, the firm favourite is still the doting dog, closely followed by our clever cats. But what is it about our pets that makes us consider them part of the family?
The Joy Of Pet Ownership
As well as keeping you physically fit through daily walks or just gentle play, pets help with our mental health too! They help us avoid loneliness, encourage us to socialise when out and about with them, and can reduce stress and feelings of anxiety.
The unconditional love we get from our pets is something that just cannot be bought.
How can you show a pet that you love it?
First of all, make sure you’re looking after their basic needs:
- Keep them within a suitable environment
- Protect them from physical complaints, such as injury or disease
- Keep them with, or away from, other animals (depending on their requirements)
- Ensure they’re given the correct diet
Even though we love our pets every day, National Love Your Pet Day just gives is a gentle reminder to show them how much we care.
They love nothing better than having their ears gently rubbed. This releases endorphins which gives a great sense of pleasure. Maintaining eye contact while you do this is a sign of affection he’ll appreciate. Don’t try this with a dog you don’t know, though. They might think the eye contact is a challenge!
Try to avoid too much hugging, as tempting as it is. They’re not too keen. But they love to be in contact with you, which is why they like to sleep on your feet, or lean against you if they’re lucky enough to be allowed on the sofa.
Instead of maintaining eye contact, like you do with dogs, cats are a little different. Slowly closing your eyes when you’re looking at them shows you’re comfortable with them, and gentle head bopping is a sign of respect and trust. If you do this to your cat, they’re likely to return the favour.
Stroking your cat from nose to tail tip not only feels super nice for your fur baby, but it’s a way of letting their sent rub off on your hand, allowing them to ‘claim’ you. And we all know that our cats love being the boss!
Add some extra special touches to a horses basic needs and they’ll be happy as Larry. Whether it’s more forage, a few chunky carrots, a bit of apple bobbing; the way to a horses heart is usually through his stomach!
But for a bit of one-to-one time, spend a little more time grooming your four legged friend. Talking to your horse while you brush him keeps him looking great while you spend some quality time chatting to each other.
Let’s not forget our feathered friends. They guys are very smart, and can recognise your voice, as well as some words. Be patient around your bird. Some like to come out of the habitat and explore, some enjoy the quiet sanctuary. Whether they’re social or not, spend time in the room with your winged buddy. Talk to them, keeping your voice nice and low and soft.
If your bird readily comes to you they clearly feel comfortable around you. Show them some affection, whether it’s edible treats, or a gentle stroke while they perch on your arm. They don’t ask for much.
Looking For Love?
If you, or someone you know, is looking for a new pet friend, always check out the shelters in your area first. The animals there are in dire need of the love you’re willing to give.
Don’t forget we list animal shelter adverts here on Preloved, too. Check out our Pets category today.