How about helping them do what their ancestors did, such as search for food? “Even though most of the animals who live with humans have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still share a lot of similarities with their wild counterparts,” according to the article, “Food Puzzles for Pets” at Best Friends Animal Society.
Like their wild counterparts, they have a “need to forage for their food,” the article said. One of the productive things you can do for your pet is to provide a food puzzle. It provides your pet something to do to keep him busy. “Food puzzles are also great for pets who wolf down their meals because the animal must eat more slowly and, therefore, can savor the food a bit more.”
There are many food puzzles to buy and you can make your own. Plus pets are not born knowing how to forage so you have to help by teaching your pet.
According to the article, “Choosing the Best Interactive Toys and Food Puzzles For Your Dog” at Preventive Vet, food puzzles are great for:
• Puppies who are teething, as they can actually have something they are allowed to chew
• Dogs who eat fast
• Those picky eaters
• Pet parents who need a break while pets get some mental stimulation
• Keeping crated dogs busy
Keep a close watch over your pet when he is using his new puzzle toy. “This is both for safety reasons (to prevent them from choking on or swallowing chunks of plastic or cardboard) and also for confidence reasons (to make sure they’re able to ‘figure it out’ and don’t get frustrated or destructive),” the Preventive Vet article said.
So, how do you keep your dog safe around the pool?
Believe it or not, every dog is not a natural swimmer. Start off with some lessons by teaching some basics, according to the article, “Dogs and Water Safety” at Fetch by WebMD.
The article suggests the following:
• Bring your dog to a shallow, quiet spot in the pool.
• Be sure your dog’s leash is on and get in the pool with your dog.
• Begin at the water’s edge and only stay as you see your dog having a good time.
• If your dog is uncomfortable and doesn’t want to go in, do not!
• “When your dog begins to paddle with their front legs, lift their hind legs to show them how to float,” the article said.
• Teach your dog how to get in and out of the pool.
• Never leave your dog alone in the water.
The article, “Five Pool Safety Tips for Dogs” at PetMD.com also offers some great advice including buying a life vest for your dog, especially for one who doesn’t swim very well. “They provide extra buoyancy and a dash of bright colors so that your dog can stay afloat and remain highly visible,” the article said. Even with a vest, never leave your dog alone!
If you have a senior dog, make sure to speak with your veterinarian first to find out if swimming is an option. Learn CPR for dogs; it can save a dog’s life. Make sure you have a fence around your pool so your dog doesn’t fall in.
The more you prepare your dog around the pool, the safer for everyone.
While you may not be ready or able to adopt a cat in June, there are other ways to help now (or throughout the year). According to the article, “June Is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month” at Petful.com, the following are ways to help:
1. Kittens are cute, but consider adopting cats who are often overlooked. These include black cats who are more difficult to adopt, senior cats, and bonded adult pairs.
2. Foster if you cannot adopt. You may be helping to save a life that would otherwise be euthanized due to space.
3. Volunteer at a shelter or rescue. “Although you won’t be promoting cat adoption directly, if you help the organizations that do, you’ll be making their lives a lot easier,” the Petful article said.
4. Donate items, supplies or money.
5. Network adoptable cats through your social media or by speaking with friends and family who may want to adopt.
If you plan to adopt a cat, the following tips from “Cat Adoption Checklist” gathered together by American Humane can help:
• Consider two cats instead of one. “Cats require exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction,” the American Humane article said. “Two cats can provide this for each other.”
• Choose a vet before you adopt, then schedule an appointment after you bring home your adopted cat.
• Buy the supplies your cat will need before you bring her home.
• Cat-proof the home.
• Include your new feline in any family emergency plan.
• Ensure everyone in the home is on board to adopt a cat.
Before you know it your newly adopted cat will be right at home and purring in your lap.