We all love our pets to the moon and back, but today’s busy lifestyles mean that we don’t always get to spend as much time with them as we’d like.  So, here’s a list of 10 things to consider doing with your pet(s) to give you more quality time together……….

1) Playtime! 

Just like humans, animals love to play. Play is a great relationship-builder, and it can be a fantastic way to help children bond with pets as little humans love to play too! Whether it’s ‘Fetch!’, ‘chase and pounce’ or ‘find n seek’ (a favourite in our house, especially when there’s food to find!), play alleviates boredom and makes people and pets happy.  It’s also physically and emotionally beneficial too.

2) Shopping. 

Whilst many stores won’t let you bring your pet shopping with you, there are some that will.  Certainly most pet-shops welcome animal customers, but also some of the more ‘outdoor’ orientated shops and DIY establishments sometimes don’t mind well-behaved 4-legged visitors either. There’s not always signs on the door to indicate whether animals are welcome, so always best just to check with a member of staff before you enter.

3) Coffee and pet-biscuits.

Within your local area you might be able to find a coffee shop or café that allows animals through their doors. Failing that, if the weather isn’t too cold, there’s always the option to sit on some seats outside and watch the world go by together….

4) Local Events.

Look for local events that your pet might be able to enjoy with you. Outdoor fetes and village days are great places to experience new sights and sniffs.  Just check there’s nothing too noisy or scary for them at the event. You never know, there might even be a pet show they can enter!

5) Pet Clubs.

See if your local area has any pet clubs that meet so both animals and owners can socialise.  Your local vet’s noticeboards could be a good place to start, but if you can’t find one, why not try and organise your own…?

6) Errands and visits. 

If it’s practical, try and take your pet with you when you go out to see friends and run errands. They’ll enjoy spending the extra time with you instead of waiting at home for you to return.

7) Enjoy the great outdoors.

Make your pet an excuse to go and explore the local area or find somewhere further afield to travel with your pet and expand your horizons. You could even consider a pet-friendly holiday!

8) Snuggles. 

If you have a pet you can cuddle, there’s nothing quite like curling up together to rest for a while. Whether the dog snuggles next to you whilst you watch TV or the cat drapes herself across your shoulders whilst you read, the close physical contact will be enjoyable for both of you.

9) Grooming. 

Whilst brushing and cleaning is a routine pet health task, taking time to talk to your pet whilst grooming will make it more of a bonding experience. Think about human trips to the hairdressers/barbers when the conversation rarely stops.

10) Outside chores.

If you’ve got pets who love to be outside, let them enjoy the fresh air when you’re busy doing your chores such as watering your plants or raking leaves. They’ll love some extra time to mooch and explore the outside world….

Don’t forget that spending time with your pet doesn’t have to involve hours of set activities.  Some quick cuddles or chats to let them know you’ve not forgotten them whilst you’re busy with your other tasks can make a huge difference to their day. And whilst they’re not so good at chatting back, they’ll love your undivided attention whilst you talk to them, especially if you get close and look in their eyes when you’re talking.

Enjoy your ‘me time’ with your pet!