There are little things that people can do to be better connected with their animals. I believe that upon arrival home you should calmly acknowledge your animal. You should stop for moment, breath, glance the animal in the eye, and say “hello”. Upon departure you should seek your animal out and say “goodbye” while picturing in your head the amount of time that will pass until you walk back into the door. Feeling the time pass in your body or picturing what the light outside will look like when you arrive home can show this. It is important to notice how your pet eats their food. Do they chew on one side of their mouth (teeth problems), look away from it then come back to it (bad taste or stomach issues), inhale their food with out swallowing (may cause stomachaches later), eat relaxed (good diet)?
You should tell your animal that for the day you are going to watch them to see if they are in any pain and to show you if they are. Watch for limping, holding up a back leg or bunny hopping when running, getting up stiff, drinking more water, straining when peeing, shaking a head with an ear infection, scratching more. If you ask them to show you they will. It is up to you to pay attention and make note of what they are showing you.
Here are my animals’ ideas on how to connect with animals better:
Joey (cat): “Walk slowly up to animals, be conscious of your body activity, look the animal in the eye, but don’t stare.”
Makia (cat): “Look to see if your animals eyes are dull and if they look like they are frowning. They may have periods of the day where they are happy, but if they have some frowning moments (creases over eyes, looking down), they may not feel well and you should get a blood panel done. You can also sing to your animal. Animals love singing with their name in the song.”
Serafina (cat): “Tell your animal the most exciting thing about your day, you could tell about something you noticed or something that you thought about all day. Explain it in detail. We like this because we already know, but your details help us figure out the whole story of your day.”
Bean (Bunny): “Feed only the best food and make sure your animal likes it. Pet your animal softly, with awareness and think about how you smell. Bunnies don’t like strong smells (no perfume, nail-polish, scented soap, other animals smells). Be clean and make sure we are clean.”
Stormy (Aussie Dog): “Make sure your dog has an outing a day. The ones that can walk should walk and the ones that are old should go in the car or walk around or lie in the front yard. No one likes to be bored.”
Maia (GSD/Wolf dog): “If your animal is having a hard time help them. Lift the animal up onto the couch or bed. Tell them you love them and something you love about them. This is important. I am old and think about pain a lot, but when my mom thinks about what she loves about me I start to have more memories and they take me away for a while. When you pet your animal watch to see where they flinch or stare at you. These are pain spots. Kiss your animal gently then move your head away. Believe that if you are clear your animal can hear you.”