“Self-Care” is the buzz word of the 2020s, and because October is Pet Wellness Month, we’re celebrating with ideas for self-care and bonding with your pet. The simple act of caring for your pet can have a positive impact on both your mental and physical health. Not only do pet owners have lower cholesterol; they’re also less likely to suffer from depression, and take fewer trips to the doctor than non-pet owners.
With all the amazing ways our pets keep us healthy, spending quality time together is the perfect way to give back and share those benefits. Here are some great ideas for getting some self-care while bonding with your furry bestie.
It’s well known that dogs love to go for walks, but all pets need exercise, so take time for active play. All animals, including humans, need to burn off energy regularly to reduce anxiety and keep their bodies in tip-top shape. So, whether you are participating in dog yoga, walking your iguana, or simply playing with your cat, you’ll both feel better after a bout of physical activity.
Get Some Sunshine
Not all animals are able (or willing) to go outside, but we all need Vitamin D. If possible, take your pet outside and soak up the sun’s healthy rays. If your pet is exclusively an indoor animal or the weather won’t permit it, then bask in the sun’s rays through a window together, or if all else fails, invest in a mood-boosting UV lamp. After a few days of regular sunlight, you and your pet will sleep better and improve physically, so join your cat for a quick cat nap in their favorite sunny spot.
Learn Something New Together
Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks must’ve never had a pet, because training is a great way to bond with your pet and do something they love. Every animal has the ability to learn, and whether you’re training your pet to do exciting tricks or simply working on their behavior, the time you spend together will make both of you happier.
Have a Snack
You and your pet deserve a treat every so often, so take them out for pet-friendly ice cream, or for a pup cup from your favorite coffee shop. But don’t overdo it! A healthy diet is an important part of self-care, so be sure to pair treat time with well-balanced meals.
Share a Spa Day
You probably enjoy a long, luxurious bath, but don’t forget that your pet deserves a spa day too. Everyone feels better when they’re clean, so take some time to help your animal groom. For some pets, grooming includes a bath, blow dry, and nail trim, for others, a simple brushing will do. Either way, keeping up with hygiene is a great way for you and your pet to feel great about yourselves. Maybe it will even earn you a double date with your cute neighbor and their adorable pet!
Take Time for Snuggles
Humans have an innate need for touch. Like many domesticated animals, humans are pack-oriented, so we surround ourselves with friends and family. Your pets feel the same way about you, so spending time cuddling and giving scratches to your furry friend doesn’t just make you feel good, it also benefits your pet.
This may seem like the easiest option on the list, but this act of mutual affection is therapeutic for both of you, so spend time every day unwinding with your pet. Taking a few moments for Zen with your pet will keep you calm and nurture a positive attitude. It’s the perfect way to destress.
No matter how you choose to take care of yourself and your pet, you’ll both benefit from the quality time you spend together. Enjoying each other’s company and relaxing is the best way to have a happy, healthy life for you and your pet.
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