How to Change a Pet’s Life for the Better

Pets enrich our lives in so many ways, but how can we return the favor? They bring us joy, comfort us when we are sad or lonely, laugh at our stupid jokes and have been known to fetch a cold one from the fridge during the Super Bowl. Here are a few ways that we humans can return a small fraction of the kindness and love that our pets show us every day:

1) Gimme shelter: Adopting a shelter dog or cat (or ferret or cockatoo) can save a life and help replace the cold comfort of a concrete floor with a place in your home and heart. Thousands of shelter pets are waiting in your neighborhood to move in and start the cuddling. Why not take the family on a trip to the shelter today? Here’s a place to start your search:

2) Feed me, Seymour! Feeding pets is a hot topic, but I usually tell clients to avoid both extremes when in the food aisle at your local pet retailer. Don’t go for the dirt cheap (the nutrition just isn’t there) and many times with the super-premium brands you are paying for the name and flashy packaging. Many mid-range to high-end choices exist and they can keep a pet healthy for years. In general, the cheaper the food, the more filler it contains — and the more poop you’ll have to pick up! For treats, carrots are often a doggy favorite and there are lots of tasty and healthful treats out there.

3) Love me tender: Why have a pet if he is just going to linger outside in the cold? Make some time to cuddle on the couch watching Matlock or play a game of catch with the kids and the dog. Cats have been known to go totally gaga over a laser pointer. A family walk gets everyone up and out of the house and results in some much-needed exercise. I am a dyed-in-the-wool couch potato, but I love walks with my family and three-legged dog, Rocco.

4) The doctor will see you now: Regular veterinary care is your responsibility as a pet owner — and your pet’s right. You don’t have to spring for a brain transplant, but you do need to have your pet checked out when they are ill and get in at least once a year for a wellness check. Finding issues early is just as important for pets as for us. Saving up some funds for a rainy day or unexpected illness can take the sting out of vet bills and don’t forget that pet health insurance is a thing now! Here’s a good place to go for more info on pet insurance:

Take a moment today to think of how you can turn some of that love around and make your pet’s life brighter. I think you’ll find that yours gets better when you do it, as well.

Editor’s Note: There are so many ways to show you love your pet! Consider spoiling your pet once in a while with tasty Pur Luv dog treats, or a delicious pork skin bone from Sergeant’s Canine Prime. 

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