Growing up, we always had a pet at home, and soon after I settled into adulthood, I got my first kitten, Evey. It was a time of tough transitions and high anxiety in my life. Everyone has different releases for their anxiety. While some find exercise or meditation, one day, I found myself at a pet store. Evey was not planned. She was a spontaneous adoption but very much needed in my life. Over the next few years, she became a source of comfort during my anxiety. To this day, whenever I cry, she is the first to console me.
After I met my husband, we decided to expand our fur family – enter Puggle Penny Lane and, a year later, Gatsby, an orange kitten. It was wild at our place. I do not suggest adopting a puppy when you are engaged, let alone adding a new kitten when you are newly married with a puppy. Despite all the madness, they became a part of our daily life and routine. For me, our pets provide a source of consistency and comfort that is hard to find in this world of uncertainty. I have made it through some of my darkest days with a puggle in my lap and a cat nestled by my side. Lord knows they stress me out, but the attention and love that they bring into my life far outweigh the hairballs and barking into the wind.
I absolutely adore my pets and love to spoil them whenever I can! If you are a pet owner, like me, I know you do too. This National Love Your Pet Day, let’s shower our pets with the love they give us every day!
Here are five ways to celebrate your pet with your family:
Bake a Treat
Pets love treats! Lately, I started making sweet potato and pumpkin treats for my dog, and she devours them. The best part about homemade treats is you know what you are feeding your pets. Try mixing up one of these pet-friendly recipes with your family: Dog Treats or Cat Treats. *If you are unsure if it is safe for your pet, please seek out your veterinarian’s advice.*
Decorate Your Pet’s Space
Children love creating and celebrating! Invite them to celebrate your pets. Pull out your art supplies and/or party supplies to decorate your pet’s space (i.e., the wall by their crate, bed, or food bowls). They could create a portrait of your pet, a picture of why they love their pet or even decorate for a pet party.
Create a New Pet Toy
Creating new pet toys can be easy, cheap, and well-loved. Some of my dog’s favorite toys are old socks tied together into a knot. As for my cats, a cardboard box never fails! Here are some fun ways to create something new for your pet:
- Cardboard Cat House (OR decorate a cardboard box and put it by a window)
- T-shirt Rope for Dogs
- Pipe Cleaner Cat Toys + More
- Sock Toys for Dogs
Find a New Path to Walk
When I take my dog on a walk; I tend to take the same old path. While dogs love routine, they also love to explore new sights and smells. Instead of taking the same route, try something new! Maybe you go to a local trail or dog park. Explore local dog parks – here. It can even be as simple as taking a long walk in the neighborhood. Surprise your dog with extra time to exercise and explore!
Advocate for Pet Adoption and Local Animal Shelters
Share with your children the importance of animal care and adoption. There are many children’s books about loving your pets and how to care for pets, but I really appreciate this list that speaks specifically to pet adoption – 9 Books About Pet Adoptions for Kids. Then, consider donating to your local Humane Society (Indy Humane) or animal shelter as a family.
Happy Love Your Pet Day!