The bond between a pet and an owner can be incredibly strong. But how can you build up that strong bond? We’ve got some easy ways you can use to bond with your pet, whether it’s a dog, cat or even a small animal.
Spend Quality Time Together
Spend time with your pet every day where you are focused 100% on them.
Not just being in the same room as them watching the TV.
Spend time just with them. Make them your priority. They’ll learn to trust you much quicker and look forward to spending that time with you.
Be calm around them. Speak softly so they can get used to your voice. Take time to build up eye contact with each other.
If you have a dog, spend time walking him. Focus on him during the walk and pay attention. Find out what he likes to sniff and what he’s wary of.
Go to new places together and explore. Find out where his favourite place is.
Luna’s favourite place is the woods but we also take some trips to the beach.
Who doesn’t love playing! And playtime with owners is even better.
Just have fun with your pet. Laugh with them.
What is their favourite toy? Do they prefer fetching tennis balls or playing tug of war?
Why not treat your dog to a new toy?
Once you’re both worn out from playing, have some calm time together.
If your pet likes cuddles, cuddle them! If they aren’t so keen, gently stroke them.
Give them a nice little massage. What is their favourite? Do they like their chin rubbed or their ears scratched?
Luna isn’t a cuddly dog but loves having her chest scratched whereas Banjo the cat prefers belly rubs!
I’m sure you like a treat so your pet definitely will too. It’s important to remember when treating your pet to reduce their food quantity to avoid overfeeding your pet.
There are all different types of treats available for your pets. You’ll find a whole aisle in the pet shop. But you can also treat them with other lower-calorie foods.
For example, dog like carrots and cucumber or even juice-flavoured ice cubes!
Cats would be really happy with some small bite-sized chunks of chicken.
Guinea pigs would love fruits that are higher in sugar that they shouldn’t have too often such as strawberries.
Want to bake your own dog treats? Luna loves the Mitey Bites recipe from this book.
Learn How Your Pet Communicates
Can you read your pet’s mind? Do you know what they like and dislike?
Do they have a special movement or sound that means something?
These are things you’ll pick up over time while you’re spending time with them.
Banjo always likes me to open the back door after he’s had his dinner so he can go outside. He sits and meows until I let him out. He has a cat flap, he just prefers me to open the door for him after dinner!
Is your pet a trick master?
For dogs, start with basic obedience such as sit, down and come. There are obedience awards for dogs and Luna has earned her Bronze Award.
There are also fun tricks to teach your dog such as roll over, play dead and wipe your feet.
If you’re feeling more energetic, lots of dogs enjoy agility training. You can find local classes or local dog places sometimes have agility equipment you can use. There are also agility equipment kits available to buy.
Cats aren’t as easy to train as dogs as they aren’t so desperate to please us but some cats can also learn basic training!
For those of you with guinea pigs, they can learn to spin, come to their name and paw!
Not only good for keeping your pets healthy, it’s a great way to bond.
While you’re grooming, you’re getting your pet used to being handled, you can do a body check to make sure they’re healthy and you’re keeping their coat in good condition by brushing them.
Finally, as we know, food is the key to most pets hearts! Take the time to hand feed your pet a few times a week.
They’ll learn that you are the provider of food as well as learning to trust you enough to take it directly from your hand.
Make sure it’s a really irresistible food to begin with to tempt them into taking it.
Building a strong bond with your pet takes time. Don’t rush them, especially if they’re a rescue pet. They might not have much trust in humans and you’ve got to take the time to prove to them that you’re the best!
Your efforts will pay off in the end and you can have fun with them in the process.