5 Ways to Improve Your Pet’s Mental Health
While your cat or dog provides a sense of stress relief, companionship and joy, pet owners are often concerned about their pet’s mental health. This concern is one that deserves attention, as poor mental health in pets, like in humans, can affect their physical health. To improve your pet’s mental health, follow these recommended strategies:
1. Embrace Their Personality
While cats are generally regarded as reserved pets and dogs are viewed as outgoing companions, each animal has its own personality. Their personality traits are often influenced by their specific breed, however. Therefore, it is essential to choose the right breed for your lifestyle. For instance, if your family has young children, a quiet and low-energy Persian cat simply may not be a good fit. Likewise, if you do not lead an active lifestyle, a high-energy terrier may not receive the level of activity that they require to be happy. Before adopting a pet, be sure to research their breed’s tendencies so you know what to expect.
2. Exercise Your Pets
Even low-energy pets need to exercise regularly to stay physically fit. As with humans, physical exercise is also beneficial for their mental health. If you are a dog owner, this may mean taking your dog on long walks or trekking through the woods so they can explore the outdoors. Cat owners, on the other hand, generally do not walk their cats but they can assist their cats in getting an adequate amount of exercise. One of the easiest ways to achieve this feat is through play. Provide your cats with toys that encourage them to stay on the move.
3. Keep Them Physically Healthy
Physical health and mental health are closely interlocked. If your pet does not physically feel their best, it is hard for them to be mentally satisfied. Provide your cat or dog with a well-balanced diet and regular visits to the veterinarian, and maintain a year-round flea and tick prevention strategy by administering an oral medication, like chewable Comfortis tablets. These seemingly minor concepts can make a huge difference in your pet’s level of happiness.
4. Show Them Affection
It can be difficult to find time and energy to engage with your pets after a long day. It is crucial, however, to make engaging with your pet a priority. Those who do not receive regular affection and attention from their owners can become depressed, bored or anxious. These feelings can lead your pet to act out in destructive ways, such as tearing up furniture, although some pets naturally will crave less affection than others.
5. Stimulate Their Brains
Exploring the same backyard or the same apartment day after day can eventually contribute to boredom. While pet toys may seem to be a luxury, many provide the mental stimulation that is vital to your pet’s mental health. A new ball for a dog, or a toy mouse for a cat, excites them and enriches their lives. Other ways to provide mental stimulation include hiding treats around the house, scheduling playdates with other animals or enrolling them in obedience courses.
The endless benefits that pets provide to a human’s mental health are often hot topics for discussion. Be sure to return the favor by aiming to improve and maintain your dog or cat’s mental health with these simple tricks.