Don’t you just love the way your dog wiggles their butt in excitement every time you pull out a bag of treats? Or, the way your cat blatantly ignores the fact that you have a gazillion emails to respond to and just plops down on your laptop for attention?
Well, today is the day to clear up some space in your schedule and give your pet some extra love because it’s National Love Your Pet Day!
Of course, while most households have dogs and cats, there’s a wide variety of pets and each one is just as precious and deserving of love as the other! So whether your home is run by a smooth-talking Cockatoo with impeccable dancing skills or a family of chimpanzees, you have the day as an excuse to spoil them rotten!
And to help you do exactly that, we’ve listed America’s top 3 pets down below and how YOU can say “I love you” in a way they’ll understand!
How to Show Love to America’s Top 3 Pets
Not much of a surprise, eh? They’re man’s best friend after all! With their fun-loving nature, loyalty, and unbelievable resilience, they’ve become the majority’s most ideal furry companion. In fact, 46.3 million homes own dogs as pets. And if you happen to live with one (or two, maybe even three) amazing doggos, here are some of the best ways to show them love:
- Tell them! Yep, you read that right. Believe it or not, but studies have shown that dogs are capable of understanding the human language, especially if we use THE voice, you know, that high-pitched tone that just takes over when we see an irresistibly adorable pooch?
- Lean into them. Did you know that when your dog leans on you, they’re actually giving you a hug? It’s their way of letting you know that they love and trust you! So unless the leaning is accompanied by signs of anxiety or fear (ears back, tail down, etc.), go ahead and return the display of affection by leaning into your furry friend!
- Aside from exercise, walking sessions allows you to bond more closely with your dog and in turn, build trust and better communication. Dogs are pack animals and walking with you mimics that same pack connection.
Coming at a close second are our lovely feline friends! According to the American Pet Products Association, about 38.9 million American households have cats. And if you’re one of those households, here are a few ways to show your sassy little fur baby that you love them:
- Slow blink at them. One of the best ways to tell your cat that you love them is to gaze softly into their eyes and blink slowly. Cats only do that when they’re in the presence of someone they trust, so seeing you do that communicates to them that you trust them enough be vulnerable. If your cat does the same, then that means the feeling is mutual!
- Groom them. Grooming is another way that cats express affection, which is why cats sometimes try to groom their owners. One way for you to say you love them back is to dampen a piece of clean cloth with warm water and run it along your pet’s head and back. Brushing works, too!
- Provide enough pet enrichment. Whether or not your feline friend has access to the outdoors, it’s very important that to provide them with enough enrichment indoors in the form of toys and cat furniture. It allows them to burn excess energy and in turn, reduces stress. Plus, engaging your cat in interactive playtime sessions every day helps strengthen your bond.
Bet you didn’t expect fish to be in the top 3—we didn’t either! But apparently, 12.5 million families share a home with at least 12 scaled friends! And if you do too, here’s how you can make the day extra special for your little buddies:
- Clean their tank. If it’s been a while since you’ve changed the water and filter media in their tank, today is the best time to do it. Since your fish is in one area, it’s crucial that you stay on top of things when it comes to the cleanliness of their tank and the quality of the water inside it so they stay healthy.
- Decorate their tank. Like any other animal, fish need enrichment, so make sure that you don’t leave your fish in a bare tank. Research what your little pal’s natural habitat looks like and mimic the same environment when decorating their tank.
- Turn the lights on and off appropriately. Another thing to keep in mind when caring for a pet fish is, no matter where in the home their tank is located, turn off the lights during nighttime and turn it back on again during daytime. This is to mimic the proper seasonal cycles in your pet’s normal habitat.