Love is in the air! Valentine's Day is upon us. There are lots of ways to show that special person you care, but here are ten tips for your Furry Valentine. Pets give us unconditional love - show your fur babies that you care.
1. Food – Consider an upgrade to your pet’s diet. Read labels and find a good quality pet food with little/no chemical preservatives and fewer processed ingredients. Organic and freshly refrigerated items are widely available now. Any diet change should always be made gradually to allow digestive systems time to adjust.
2. Treats – Since chocolate is toxic for most pets – keep your human treats at a safe distance. Then include Fido and Fluffy in the holiday with a home-made or purchased treat. The same rule applies as with food – read labels – and remember that there have been a number of recent recalls for pet treats (mostly those made abroad) so choose a treat with quality ingredients from a source you trust.
3. Veterinary Visit – Love your pets enough to keep them healthy. Nature can cause animals to mask illnesses and they can’t tell you if they’re not feeling well. An annual veterinary visit is vital to ensure pets are current on vaccinations and in tip-top shape.
4. Furniture – A new fluffy bed or a scratching post tree – splurge on a special piece of furniture for your forever friend.
5. Enrichment – Animals learn through play. Keep those brains stimulated with behavioral and environmental enrichment. Here are some great options for cats & dogs: http://www.anticruelty.org/recommendedpettoys
6. Green Grooming – It's easier to cuddle with pets that aren't stinky. Winter is harsh. Pets can have dry skin and allergies too so select gentle grooming products that are free of harsh chemicals, salts, and parabins.
7. Massage – Yup, not just heavy petting – you can actually learn how to give your cat or dog a massage (an internet search can yield training options) or bring your pooch to a local pet spa and leave it to a pro.
8. Chip & Tag – Love means never having to say “goodbye” so ensure that you and your beloved pet will always be reunited. Your pet should always wear a collar and ID tag and a veterinarian can inject a tiny microchip right above the pet’s shoulder in case s/he ever gets lost and loses the collar. Both of those options require owners to keep contact information current and the pet has to be found by a responsible person that will call the number on the tag or bring the pet to a shelter where the microchip can be read. Tags with a GPS tracking device are another option that have recently hit the market.
9. Quality Time – The best way to say “I love you” is to spend quality time together. Go for an extra long walk in a favorite park or plan for lots of snuggle and play time.
10. Love – This list is just the start. Share what you plan to do for your Furry Valentine in the comment section below. Consider adopting another cat or dog who needs love. www.anticruelty.org