How To Make Your Pets Happy
First published in the
Santa Barbara News-Press
People often request that I ask their animal, “What would make your life happier.”
There are some common themes for dogs and cats that are easy to implement into life’s routine.
Dogs ask for big grassy parks surrounded by trees. They want to play ball, Frisbee or just walk around the park to sniff. Some just want to picnic on a blanket in the shade. Dogs love the feeling of rolling on the grass. If they are old or sensitive the cushion of the grass is good for arthritic bodies or toes that seem to drag.
They like walking near water. Even if they don’t wade or drink from the water they like to be around it. Streams, ponds, oceans, big lakes it doesn’t really matter. The noise and the sense of peace it illicit is calming to them.
“BBQ food” is a big request and so is “refrigerator food”, which mostly consists of cheese, deli meats and chicken. Though sweet potatoes, pumpkin, broccoli and ice-cream are also high on the list.
Small dogs and cats like a “bed on the bed”. This typically is a doughnut bed on your bed so that they don’t fall off or get kicked while you are sleeping. Small dogs and cats are also big fans of sweatshirts, robes and your softest blankets.
Dogs want to learn. They want to go to “learning school”, “doggie lessons”, “jumping camp”. They want their minds stimulated. They want to learn tricks or if they are naughty they actually want to learn boundaries. They are proud of good “waits” and “stays” and will often tell me how good they are doing controlling themselves, even if you feel they have a lot of work to do!
Cats want open windows, bird feeders, birdbaths, water fountains, music on, wind chimes, tunnels, access to closets or the garage. They want “string play” or time outside even if it is on a harness. Many want to be brushed. They like crumbled freeze-dried treats. They want access to the sun, so leave those shades open! They like massages down their back. They want extremely clean litter boxes. Clean bedding is high on the list and so are clean windows, dishes and water bowls! So get to work!
Exercise is big one for all the animals. They want more walks and play time. Even the cats that don’t seem very active want to play more.
All animals love songs! They love when their people sings songs with their name in it. They don’t care if you sing well or not. It’s just that you are both happy when you are doing it. My chihuahua mix Easter asked me the other day, “I love when you sing. How do you know so many songs?” I told her, “Because I make them all up!” She didn’t care.
Now go make your pets happier!
Want to hear what your animals have to say?