At Millbrae Pet Hospital, we know you love your pet. You may wonder the best way to show your furry friend how much you care, aside from tried-and-true cuddles and smooches. So, we’re offering several unique ways you can show your affection—and they may not be in the ways you expect! Read on for some ideas to shower your pet with love.

#1: Try something new

While a routine is great, changing things up once in a while is better for the soul. Choose a day—or two—to head out and try something new with your pet. If your pup loves the outdoors, try a new hiking trail or dog park you haven’t visited. Have an indoor cat? Try rearranging some of their perches or cat trees to give them a new perspective. If you’re looking for an added challenge, you could help your pet learn a new skill such as leash-training your cat or signing your pooch up for agility lessons. Taking on a new task also helps your pet build confidence—and the togetherness strengthens your bond. 

#2: Bake a special goodie

Did someone say treat? If your pet is like most, they come running at the sound of the cookie container or food bag. Concoct a home-baked treat as something super-special, different, and healthy to chew. Cats will love these three-ingredient salmon cat treats from the Cookie Rookie, and your pup will adore these peanut butter and pumpkin cookies from allrecipes. As always, use treats sparingly, and never as a substitute for a quality dog or cat food. But, if you give your pet a couple of extra treats when they melt your heart, we won’t scold you.  

#3: Purchase a new, or used, toy

Pets love toys, especially when their favorite friend—you—plays with them. Head to the pet store, with or without your pet, to pick up a new toy to engage your pet. Cats love teaser toys with feathers or small, jingly toys that you can toss or hide. Your dog may enjoy a new chew toy or a ball launcher that you can take to the park. Playing not only helps pets get the exercise they need, but it’s also a great opportunity for the two of you to bond. After choosing a new toy or two, pack a few of your pet’s older toys away, and then bring them out again in a few months. Rotating your pet’s toys keeps them from getting bored of the same old balls and toy mice.

#4: Schedule a playdate

While you may be your pet’s best playmate, allowing them to socialize with other dogs or cats is essential for their development—especially in the early, formative weeks. When arranging a playdate, meeting on neutral ground is best. Never force two pets to interact, and always have an escape plan for your pet if they feel threatened or aren’t willing to play. Unfortunately, your puppy or kitten’s critical socialization period —3 to 14 weeks of age—coincides with their initial vaccine series. Before your pet’s initial vaccines are complete, allow them to socialize only with fully vaccinated pets in the safety of your home.

#5: Make time for snuggling

This may be a given, but making time to cuddle with your pet is an excellent way to show them you care. Cozy up with your pet while reading, watching television, or simply gazing out the window. Gentle caressing and speaking in a soothing voice will not only calm your pet, but also help them feel secure and attached. 

#6: Pamper your pet

Whether at your favorite pet spa or at home, take some time to groom your pet. While not every pet loves a bath, many love to be combed or brushed. Grooming not only keeps your pet’s skin and coat healthy, but also can be wonderfully stimulating for them. 

#7: Provide your pet their own special space

Despite how much you love your pet, or how much they love you, everyone needs space from time to time. Offer them a quiet place in your home that you fit with bedding and a few toys, and that is accessible any time they want a peaceful reprieve. Ensure all family members—especially young children—understand to leave your pet alone when they are relaxing in their safe haven. 

The ultimate way to show your pet how much you love them? Ensure they have excellent veterinary care. At Millbrae Pet, we are dedicated to your furry friend’s well-being. Whether they need preventive medications, an annual examination, or illness care, we’re here for you—and for them. Contact us to schedule your pet’s next appointment. We can’t wait to see you!