Pet Appreciation Week is a week to really celebrate all the wonderful creatures in our lives that bring so much joy, fun and companionship to our days. Our pets give us unconditional love, lower blood pressure and decrease our stress, and having someone excited to see us and welcome us home always makes the day brighter.
This week, take a bit of extra time to spend with your pets, whether they are furry, feathered or reptilian. While every day is an opportunity to show your pets love and appreciation, we can try to make this week really special by focusing on the things you know your pet loves, but are often considered treats or special occasions, rather than the norm. Some ideas for how to spoil your pet this week are:
Go for a leisurely, longer than normal walk, letting your pet choose the route and how long the walk lasts, with lots of stops to sniff and explore.
Take your pet to a favorite creek or lake for a swim, even if it means a smelly car ride home or bath afterwards.
Go for a long car ride with the windows down, if that’s the type of thing you pet loves.
Take your dog for a long weekday hike in the evening, somewhere that you usually go on special weekend hikes for a change of pace and scenery.
Have a long session of laser-beam play with your cat.
Go somewhere new with your pet and have an adventure-it could be a new park or walking trails, checking out a new dog park or pet-friendly social space, or visiting your local pet store for some new toys or treats.
Make or bake your pet a batch of homemade treats. They can be anything you know your pet loves, from peanut butter cookies, to fresh catnip treats or favorite fruit and veggie mixes.
Buy the foods that you usually reserve for special occasions, the ones your pet gets really excited to see come out of the pantry or fridge at meal time.
Get some of the fresh fruits or vegetables you know your pet prefers for a mid-afternoon or after dinner treat.
Bring home a new toy. Everyone loves a new toy!
Indulge in some extra belly rubs or back scratches.
Treat your pet to a good brushing and massage (yes, canine massage is a thing!), and even a bath if that’s something they like.
Arrange a play date for your pet with some of their best buds to romp around with.
See if any local organizations or shelters are hosting any pet- appreciation week events and take part.
Get some photos taken together. Hire a photographer to take some snaps at your favorite park or at home, have a friend or family member take some, or use remote shooting to capture some special moments with your pet. However you do it, one day you will be glad you took those photos and have a special moment to look back on and remember.
Take your pet for an annual wellness checkup appointment at the veterinarians. One of the best things you can do for your pet is to make sure that they’re healthy and any issues or concerns are detected early and addressed for their long-term health and well-being.
And generally, just spend some quality time with your pet. Pets often crave our attention and just want to be near us. Whatever you choose to do to celebrate Pet Appreciation Week, providing a loving home for your pet and caring for their wellbeing is the best way to show your appreciation for their unconditional love year-round.