Remembering Our Pets During Friendship Week
The third week of August (16-22) is devoted to celebrating friendship. However, often there is no greater bond than that between a dog and his owner; therefore, we want to honor our canine best friends during this awareness week. Most of us have fond memories of growing up with pets, or having them there for important milestones in our lives, such as our weddings, or bringing home a new baby. Our beloved dogs really do become members of our families, not just our friends. Dogs provide so much for us, in terms of love, affection, companionship, etc., and ask for so little back. However, it is important to stop and assess if you are truly providing what your dog needs, other than the basics, such as food and shelter. In this article, we will provide tips on activities and special treats for your dogs.
Work for Food – Although dogs have been domesticated for a very long time, they are still animals that are meant to move around in search of food. However, having ready access to food and drink often leads many dogs to simply lounge around in the meantime, not having much reason to move around. However, there is physical stimulation you can provide to help improve his health, even when you are not at home. One of the easiest ways to promote movement is hiding treats around the house and backyard. Although your dog may be unaware of this at first, leaving pieces right in front of him, and then hiding the rest in close proximity can help him to learn the game, especially in the beginning.
Another great tip to promote movement, according to Pet WebMD, is to invest in pet food puzzles, which are toys that hold dog treats. The puzzles “have holes on each end or on the sides, and dogs must work by shaking, pawing, rolling, nibbling or licking the toy to get the food to come out.”
Access to Outdoors – Unless you live in an apartment or condominium that has no ready access to the outside world, your dog likely has the ability to go outside into the front or backyard. However, just like humans, visiting new places excites canines, which stimulates their mind and senses. While you likely take trips on weekends, don’t forget to bring your pooch along. Anything as simple as a walk outside in a new neighborhood, an easy hike, or a trip to the beach, will be a special treat for your pet. If you are planning a vacation, consider bringing him along, as well. Simply check with the accommodations where you will be staying to see if they allow pets.
Companionship – Dogs are social beings, and they love to have companionship. Evaluate how much attention you pay to your pet, and try to carve out individual time to spend with him. This is especially important during a stressful time for a dog, such as a move, a new baby that was brought home, or a prolonged separation from the owner. Showing your pet how much he means to you with your undivided attention will improve his mood and remind him that you care about him.
Dogs also need to spend time with other dogs. Research dog parks close to your home, where your pet can run without a leash and interact with other pets. If no such park is in your proximity, setup puppy play dates with friends and colleagues. This will give your dog a chance to socialize with other pets, and just like with children, it will provide them with a fun and exciting opportunity to play with others.
Games – Everyone likes to have fun, dogs included. Additionally, games stimulate your dog’s brain power, forcing him to think and plan. On your time off, play some games with your pooch, which will encourage both of you to move. Popular games for dogs are throwing a ball or a Frisbee, playing tug-of-war, chasing you or a toy, or simply play wrestling on the floor.
Special Treats – People love positive reinforcement, as do pets. When training your dog, or simply showing that you notice his good behavior, reward him with a special treat. You can give these out daily when you come home, or only for special recognition. Some creative ideas involve chicken soup popsicles on a hot day, homemade dog biscuits, or cut up fruit and vegetables for a healthy kick of nutrients.
Dr. Willard’s celebrates friendship week by highlighting the important role dogs play in our lives. This is one of the reasons they started their pet line, Dr. Willard’s Natural Restorative Pet Care® Kit. This whole body tonic consists of three products that play a beneficial role for dogs’ bodies and minds. Furthermore, $.25 cents from every product sold goes to support national pet foundations, such as Big Dogs, Huge Paws. The pet care kit consists of a two-month supply of:
- Willard’s Vibrant Pet Water Drops® (8 oz.) enhances dogs’ overall nutrition and general health in a simple, safe and effective way by optimizing nutrient absorption and enhancing cellular function. Dr. Willard’s Vibrant Pet Water Drops® contain no artificial colors, flavors, parabens, phthalates or petrochemicals; are cruelty free; and help improve dogs’ overall hydration and nutritional benefits, keeping dogs healthy and vibrant. By adding the secret catalyst in the Dr. Willard’s® patented formula to pets’ clean drinking water, Dr. Willard’s Vibrant Pet Water Drops® boost water’s biological functions to help with digestion, nutrient absorption, behavior and performance. This means that dogs will get more vitamins from the same amount of food they consumed before.
- Willard’s Rejuvenating Skin and Coat Spray® (8 oz.) is made with the finest natural ingredients; restores moisture and beauty to the skin and coat of dogs; and relieves discomfort from a variety of conditions such as hot spots, scrapes, burns, abrasions and cuts. This topical application has no artificial colors, flavors, beans, phthalates or petrochemicals and is cruelty free. Dr. Willard’s Rejuvenating Skin and Coat Spray should be sprayed directly on the affected areas one to four times daily, or as needed.
- Willard’s Soothing Aloe Gel for Pets® (8 oz.) naturally moisturizes dogs’ skin, helps restores dogs’ coats and relieves itching caused by a variety of skin irritations. The gel, which is made with natural ingredients, helps alleviate some problems associated with burns, cuts, wounds and other skin disorders. It can be topically applied to dogs’ coats and skin. Dog owners should place a dime or quarter size amount of on the affected area of the dog and/or use as a general moisturizer.