From the moment most of us set eyes on our pets, it was love at first sight. These little creatures are very special for so many people — so much so, in fact, that we often refer to our pets as part of the family.
And yet, no matter how much we love our pets, too many pet owners don’t always give their animals the treatment they deserve. No judgement, we get it — pet care is a big responsibility, and many of us have busy, busy lives.
But if you want your pet to have the best life possible, it’s up to you to give it to him.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we thought we’d give you a few tips and tricks so YOU can give your pet the greatest gift of all: exceptional love and care! Here’s what you need to know so that your four-legged valentine can truly understand how much you love him.
Proper Pet Feeding Habits
If you want your pet to have a great life, you need to make sure he is healthy. This means regular check ups at the vet and getting vaccines or medication when necessary, but it also means caring for his health in smaller, everyday ways.
Frankly, it all starts with feeding.
Your doggo or kitty depends on you for his meals, so it’s very important that you provide an exceptional diet for him. This diet should be healthy, nutrient-rich, and (of course) delicious. Additionally, you should be practicing proper feeding habits to help improve his diet and his health.
Keep these guidelines in mind when feeding your pet:
There are two main schools of thought when it comes to feeding animals: scheduled meals at the same time every day, and “free feeding,” in which you leave bowls of food and water out for your pet to snack and sip at their leisure.
Most veterinarians agree that scheduled feeding is the “healthiest” method, as it prevents the animal from overeating and becoming obese. However, sticking to a schedule can be challenging for pet owners whose own lives don’t always have them home for dinnertime.
When it comes to feeding dogs and cats, consistency is key. If you cannot stick to a daily schedule, try free feeding and see how your pet handles it. If you’re determined to keep a schedule, make sure someone is ALWAYS available at mealtimes. This way, you can guarantee that your pet always has something to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Consistency is important because it guarantees your pet gets enough food — but it also gives your pet a feeling of security in his home. When he knows that food is always coming at a certain time (or that his bowl will always be waiting for him), he is more likely to feel calm, contented, and secure.
Avoid Home-cooked Meals
Look, we’ve all done it: we’ve sneaked a little something off our plate and tossed it into our pup’s open mouth. But most animal experts agree that a home-cooked meal simply isn’t safe for our cherished pets! It might be best to leave the table scraps out of your pupper’s reach.
What makes “people food” so dangerous for pets? Simply put, it’s not designed with their nutrition in mind. Humans are omnivores; we need a combination of grains, proteins, vegetables, and other nutrients to survive. But dogs and cats? It’s all about the meat! The foods we eat at the dinner table might not always provide the essentials to keep them healthy and strong.
Another issue that comes from homemade meals is safety. There are countless recipes for “homemade dog food” on the internet today, and many of them contain unsafe ingredients like avocado, raisins, onions, and garlic. If you aren’t finding recipes from a trusted source, you might end up making your poor pet very sick!
Luckily, we live in a time when balanced and healthy foods are readily available. As long as you check the ingredients and purchase a high-quality food, your pet will have a healthy and fulfilling diet — and they’ll thank you for it!
Be Mindful of Your Pet's Needs
As you can see, the foods that best suit you and I might not be best for your pets. This is because your pets have their own unique dietary needs — and as their pet parents, it’s your job to keep those needs in mind when you put together their meals.
Remember when we mentioned “checking the ingredients” on your pet’s food? That’s actually very important. The first ingredient listed should be meat (remember, dogs are carnivores first and foremost), but this isn’t always the case. If the first ingredient in your dog’s food is corn, wheat, bone meal, or any meat by-product, leave that stuff on the shelf!
And ingredients aren’t the only things to keep in mind when preparing your pet’s food. For example, did you know that cats are particularly sensitive to temperature and smell? Their food should be close to body temperature when they eat for easy digestion, and it’s best to keep external odors away during meal times. Serving your cat in a glass or ceramic bowl (which don’t hang onto or absorb odors) is one of the best ways to give him a pleasant dining experience.
Other Pet Care Tips
With the tips above, you can ensure that your pet has a proper diet. This will improve his health — and therefore, it will make him happier throughout his life. But of course, a great diet isn’t the ONLY way to show your pet how much you love him.
Every aspect of your pet’s life can benefit from a little TLC from you. Not sure where to start? Here are a few more tips that can improve your pet’s life tremendously — and will make you happier, too!
Communicate with Your Pet
You probably talk to your dog or cat on a regular basis, even though you know they won’t talk back (but we have to admit, it feels like they could!). This is a great habit, as it helps you and your pet connect — whether you know it or not.
Pets (and dogs in particular) are social creatures, and they benefit from attention from their parents… that’s you! In fact, a study from the UK has discovered that dogs notice differences in their humans’ vocal tone, indicating that they can tell when you’re happy or upset with them.
Talking to your pet about how much you love them, or even telling them about your day, will improve the bond you have with them. It can also make your dog feel happier and more secure, which is something we all want for our beloved pets.
Give Them Ample Exercise
Animals, just like humans, require regular exercise to be healthy and feel their best. But unfortunately, many pets — just like humans — aren’t getting the exercise they need. Maybe their families have too busy schedules, maybe they don’t have enough space to run in their apartments homes. But whatever the reason, the problem persists: too many pets simply aren’t exercising enough.
If you want to have a healthy and happy pet, you NEED to make exercise a priority. Walk your doggo at least once a day (even if this means waking up early). Make sure your cat has space to climb or run in your home (without ruining the furniture). Adding some extra movement to your pet’s day is guaranteed to make them healthier — and we suspect that you’ll feel better, too.
Let Them Rest Well
You’ve given your pet a great day: a balanced diet, plenty of exercise, and loving connection with pets and a chat. What now? Believe it or not, your love for your pet can extend into the night — if you give them a comfortable bed on which to sleep.
Believe it or not, pets need beds just like we do! A quality pet bed will provide their bodies with greater support and comfort, so they can truly recover from a hard day of playing with their favorite people (that’s you).
BDEUS pet beds feature high-density memory foam that supports the spine, so your pet can have the most restful sleep of his life. No matter how big or small your pet may be, he or she can benefit from a BEDUS mattress! And best of all, the stylish designs of these pet beds mean that they’ll fit nicely into your home decor — the same way that your pet fits nicely with your family.
This Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to take special care of your pet and show him just how much you care. A healthy diet, an afternoon at the park, and a good night’s rest on a BDEUS mattress will make your pet feel like the king or queen of your heart (which, of course, they are).
Visit BEDUS today to find the right mattress for your pet.