Dogs and cats love affirmation. As humans, one of the our favorite ways to praise our pets is to feed them. Giving edible treats is a great idea some of the time, as long as they don’t make up more than 10% of your pet’s diet. For the other 90% of the time, there are other ways to show your love that don’t involve food. In Part One of the Love Manual For Your Pet we used songs about getting emotional. For the treats, we’re going to have a video watch party!
1. Rocky. Remember how much Butkus loved running with Rocky? Your pet loves to exercise, too. And to quote Rocky himself, “You’ll walk down the streets breaking hearts.”
2. The Secret Life of Pets. If you haven’t watched the movie, there’s an adorable character named Buddy who gets scratches from the beater on the KitchenAid. Don’t leave it up to the kitchen appliances. Your pet loves to be scratched by you! (Haven’t seen the movie? Take a look…)
3. Steel Magnolias. A good grooming session is another great way to reward your pet. Remember Ouiser’s dog? The quote was “If he had hair he’d be a Saint Bernard.” The truth was that Red needed a good grooming session. Dogs and cats alike love to be brushed; the methodical, rhythmic strokes are soothing and affirming.
4. Homeward Bound. We’re in no way suggesting that your pet really get lost like Chance, Sassy, and Shadow, but you can pretend. Cats in particular love to ‘stalk’ prey. Hide behind a couch or the bed, and watch how delighted your feline friend is to catch you!
5. Sniff: The Dog Movie. We have to admit, we haven’t watched this documentary/comedy, but it does remind you how much your dog loves to sniff. To a dog, smelling a fire hydrant is a feast to her senses. (Think of the beauty of a drive through the Blue Ridge mountains, and you’ll get the idea.) We usually rush past fire hydrants and car tires on our walks with our dogs. Your dog will love it if you stop and let him smell the … odors.
6. Teacher’s Pet (2004 movie). Your pet might not learn to read like Spot, but there’s nothing more fun than learning a new trick. If your pet is aging, some of the more physical activities aren’t quite so much fun. Teach your old dog tricks like yawning, finding specific objects, or bowing. If your pet is a ham, bowing is another fun trick.
7. TV for Dogs. TV for Cats. Some enterprising folks have created videos for dogs and cats. They are eight hours long, designed to entertain your pets while you’re away. You might be surprised at how appealing they are to your furry friend. Be careful, though, some of the scenes may cause your pet to lunge at the screen. You’ll get a kick out of watching your pet watching.
Every pet is different, and you’ll need to experiment a bit to learn the ‘currency’ that is most rewarding. Treat your pet to a treat that isn’t a treat. If you do, message us a video on our Facebook page. That would be a treat for us!