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How Do You Love Your Pet? Great Ideas for Valentine’s Day
Cat Communications: What Is Your Feline Trying to Tell You?
The Importance of Exercising Your Dog

How Do You Love Your Pet? Great Ideas for Valentine’s Day
Love is in the air, especially during February when Valentine’s hearts and candy are everywhere. There are tons of ideas out there for humans, such as a romantic dinner date or a romantic weekend getaway.

However, if you have a pet, what’s the best way to show him your love on Valentine’s Day?

There are so many things you can do. According to the article, “Ten things you can do to show your pets you love them” at Bestfriends.org, there are things to do to make your pet feel very loved, including:

• Feed healthy foods. “Just like humans, pets thrive when they have a healthy diet,” the article said.
• Exercise your pet to enrich his life, and yours, too! Try walking, running and playing fetch for dogs; interactive play for cats.
• Learn your pet’s language and how he communicates through body language.
• Build a relationship through reward-based training classes.
• Ensure you take your pet for annual checkups. You can even visit the vet at other times to get your pet used to going there. Check with your vet’s office beforehand.

There also are other creative ways to treat your pet right on Valentine’s Day, according to the article, “8 Ways to Love Your Pet This Valentine’s Day” at PetCareRx.com. They include:

• Specially made treats you can make at home.
• Get your pet a new toy. “Answer your pet’s pleas with a new toy, and indulge in a play session or three!”
• Give your pet an indulgent at-home grooming session, including “a quick bath, a loving comb-out, or just a brush massage.”

Although you have to keep the chocolate, wine and flowers away from your pet due to the danger they can cause him, there are many ways to show the love on Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Cat Communications: What Is Your Feline Trying to Tell You?
Cats are amazing, loving, finicky, and sometimes hard to figure out. They seem to have their own language. What is the best way to figure out how your cat communicates with you?

“Cats use a variety of signals (body postures, facial expressions, and vocalizations) to convey their message and avoid unwelcome confrontations,” according to the article, “What Your Cat’s Body Language Is Saying,” at WebMD.com. When humans learn how to “decipher these feline postures,” it is easier to figure out cats and have a better bond.

The article offers advice on interpreting cat lingo:

• When your cat rolls over to display her tummy, it can mean she is content or the pose “followed by fully extended claws and sharp teeth” can indicate her being defensive.
• Cats are not big on people staring at them, as they find it to be a threat.
• “Learn the nuances of your cat’s vocabulary so you can detect the difference between a plea for dinner and an urgent cry for help,” the article said.

When your cat wants to show you affection, she has a variety of ways to do that from kisses to chirps and mews. According to the article, “How Do Cats Show Affection? 7 Cat Affection Signs” at Catster.com, “Because some signs of cat affection are subtle, they are often misinterpreted and sometimes overlooked.”

Some signs include:

• Using their tails, which convey their emotions “through how they are held and positioned, and the degrees of fur puffiness,” according to Catster.
• Cheek rubs, which is something some cats do to greet people they trust.
• Showing affection through head bunting.
• Hanging around their person.

Although different than dogs show affection and maybe not as obvious, cats show their affection to their humans in many ways, so be on the lookout.

The Importance of Exercising Your Dog
Exercise is as important for your dog as it is for you. When you have a dog, you literally have a reason to get up and move.

In order to get into shape physically and mentally, exercise is key. Obesity is becoming more prevalent in dogs and many are considered overweight by their veterinarians, according to the article, “Your Dog: Why Exercise Is Important” at Vetstreet.com. “Obesity prevents dogs from enjoying many physical activities; it also decreases speed and stamina and makes it more difficult for dogs to deal with heat,” the article said. Obesity also can bring on a variety of medical issues from arthritic changes and torn ligaments to back issues and cardiac problems.

Before you start on an exercise plan, speak to your vet. The exercise you do should take the following into consideration regarding your dog:

• Age
• Breed
• Individual needs

If you walk or jog, ensure it’s not too hot and check hot pavement. Swimming is great, but make sure your dog can swim and that he wears a life vest.

“While some breeds have special needs that have to be taken into account, and dogs do slow down as they age, they still need to take part in some form of daily physical activity,” according to the article, “Exercising with Your Dog 101” at petMD.com.

Additionally, even dogs who are older, handicapped or blind can benefit and need exercise. Make sure not to push your dog. “Your dog should be happily tired, not exhausted, when you are done exercising her for the day,” the petMD article said.

It’s also great to mentally stimulate your dog, which you can do by changing up where you walk, and providing new and different play toys or games.

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