World Animal Day: Four ways to show your pet you care

World Animal Day: Four ways to show your pet you care

Celebrate World Animal Day by letting your furry friend know just how much they mean to you.

Pet and owner
Pets and owner/ iStock

A sentient octopus. A dog that can detect cancer. Horses that heal people from trauma. Animals do more than simply protect us and keep us company – the way that they engage with the world can teach us lowly humans so much.

With this pandemic and lockdown, we’ve all been spending a lot more time at home with our pets, and we probably all realise now the valuable role that these animals play in our lives. October 4 is World Animal Day, so what better time is there to show the creatures in your life how much you care for them?

Here are four ways you can do just that:

1. Put down your phone

Have you ever been scrolling through Instagram with your pooch on your lap and they start to nuzzle their heads under the device? Animals aren’t stupid – they know your attention is not on them if you’re looking at that shiny rectangle. Just as you should do when engaging with your kids, friends or partner, put down the phone, and give your animal your full attention.

2. Don’t overfeed them

While it’s tempting to give your animals little titbits all of the time, an overweight animal is an unhealthy animal. Don’t be tempted by those puppy-dog eyes – dogs and cats are pack animals and it’s their instinct to always be searching for their next meal. Of course, a healthy treat now and then can be a great reward, but giving into every whine with fattening ‘treat’ foods will only do them more harm than good in the long run.

READ: Pet food: 13 Fruits and vegetables to feed your dog

3. Keep them clean & protected

When last did you give your dog flea medication? What about tick prevention? And how are their teeth? If you take care of an animal, it’s important that you keep on top of their health, and you can do this by visiting your local vet – at least once a year. They’ll be able to advise what needs to be done (if anything) to keep your animal in tip-top shape. You also need to take care of their grooming, whether this is visiting a parlour to get their coats tidied up, or making sure their toenails don’t grow too long and become uncomfortable.

4. Get out there

Exercise is vital to animals, as it is to humans. In fact, owning a pet or animal is a great way to encourage us to leave our couches and get out into the natural world. Taking your dogs for a walk is great, but you can also mix it up by playing more games with them, including throwing balls or frisbees, or playing a game of catch. After an hour in the park, both the mood of the animal and the human will be much improved, and stress levels would have been reduced – so it’s a win-win for all.

Our animals are our faithful companions and we owe it to them to be present and generous with our love and our time. Hopefully these four tips will help you do more of that.

READ: Pics: Celebrities with their adorable pets

Getting your pet insurance cover, like what Fedhealth offers its members via Sanlam Reality, is one way to show them you love them.

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