When you have a pet, there’s nothing more important than the relationship between the two of you. A good relationship makes pet owning a pleasure – companionship, loyalty, play and everything you expect of having a pet. A bad relationship between pet and owner can make life extremely challenging, and leave you wondering if you can cope.
Today we’re taking a look at ways you can make life easier for yourself and your pet by building that good relationship.
Your pet’s health makes a huge difference to its mood and behaviour. A pet that’s ill or in pain is often withdrawn and can be aggressive. It’s important to look for as vet as soon as you get a pet (or even before you bring your pet home) so you can get them registered without delay.
Regular checks help your vet identify low-lying chronic conditions, and the early signs of serious issues. Low stress visits for check ups also help to get your pet (and you) used to the process, so it’s less distressing if you have to take them in in an emergency – and if that emergency arises, you’ll know where to find a 24 hour vet you can trust.
Learn Their Body Language
Your pets can’t talk to you to tell you how they feel, but they can still communicate clearly. If you pay attention – and do a little research – you can quickly learn what your pets are telling you with their eyes, teeth, tails and the rest of their body, to build a better relationship.
Stroking a cat when it’s not in the mood for a cuddle can cause explosive results, and a loss of trust. Look for signs like a lashing tail (or even worse, one thumping the ground) or flattened ears that tell you your cat isn’t in the mood for attention. Offer them a hand, let them come to you, and you’ll build trust and a stronger relationship.
Getting the right amount of exercise has a huge effect on your pets’ wellbeing and behaviour. A cat or dog that doesn’t get enough exercise will be less healthy, less happy and prone to stress, depression and anxiety, which can lead to obsessive or aggressive behaviour.
Find out how much exercise your pet needs and the best way for them to get – all dogs will appreciate a walk, but different breeds have different needs, and puppies, adults and senior dogs all have different energy levels.
It’s not advisable to walk a cat on a lead, but if you’re keeping your indoors, you’ll need to make sure it gets some exercise and mental stimulation. Find toys that it likes, and keep a number of them on rotation to stop it getting bored. Look for the signs your cat is feeling playful, and give them a workout by having them chase a ball or ribbon. As they begin to tire, give them the satisfaction of a win by letting the toy go limp – they’ve killed it! This will work their muscles, their mind and give them a real sense of achievement!