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5 Ways to Show Your Dog or Cat You Care

Our dogs and cats give us unconditional love, and never care that we have a bad hair day, forget to change our socks or brush our teeth. Actually, they might like that! That's one of the many reasons pet lovers consider them part of the family. It's only natural for us to return the affection during pet appreciation week.

5 Ways to Show Your Dog & Cat You Care

Offer Puzzles.

Showing appreciation means "treating" our dogs and cats in special ways, but we don't want to "love them to death" by making them fat with too many calories. It doesn't take much to treat our pets, especially when you offer pungent tidbits inside a puzzle dispenser. That encourages dogs and cats to use their brains, too--yet another loving bonus.

dog puzzle toys

Keep The Coat Combed.

Shedding season is upon us. All that shed fur ends up in the house, your clothes, and possibly in hair balls your cat (and some dogs!) leave for unwary bare feet to find at 2:00 a.m. Add another 10 minutes to your regular grooming routine. Your dog and cat will just consider it a value added massage, while you'll help prevent painful mats and hairballs that can create problems with constipation. The combing and brushing also reduces YOUR stress, since it's an extension of petting and hands on therapy for you both.

dog shedding

Boost Health With Extra Walks or Playtime.

Dogs adore walks, and changing up the scenery gives them new "sniffs" for their pleasure. Since dogs live through their noses, just an extra 5 or 10 minutes each day and walking an extra block is like you skipping the carpool to work and flying to Bermuda for a weekend. For cats, break out the flashlight or laser pointer and give Kitty some fun chase-the-light time.

cat laser toy

Give a Gift.

Some dogs can't get enough of toys, while others prefer treats or a game at the dog park. You know your dogs best, so indulge them with whatever floats their boat--a new chew toy, stuffed animal, or day at the park.

For cats, set up a cat tree or box near a favorite window, and install a bird feeder outside for the feline version of cat TV. Providing your kitty with an indoor water fountain is another way to show feline appreciation this week. Some cats love to play in the water, while others love the sound--and the water tastes better so it entices cats to drink more, which improves their urinary tract health.

dog gifts

Schedule Love Time.

In our busy lives, we often put off "extras" until later or offer less valuable substitutes like tossing a treat when a dog asks for attention. While dogs love treats and toys, you can offer no greater love than sharing time with them. Every dog is different so figure out what delights the tail wiggles in your canine friend, and put it on your daily schedule. For cats, the best gift of all may be an extra 10 minutes of lap time while you scratch that hard-to-reach itchy spot under their chin.

cat cuddling on lap

Dogs and cats greet us at the door like heroes bearing treasures, and always offer a happy wag and welcoming purr. Whether dogs snuggle to share our joy, or kitties pester us out of a blue mood with a game of toe tag, they love us 24/7/365. So showing our appreciation this week is the least we can do.

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