A pet is one of the greatest joys in life! It’s only fitting that you give your beloved pup or cat the best life you can in return. While your furry friend needs care and companionship the most (don’t we all?), there are a few things you can do to make his or her days even better. Here are a few tips to solve cat and dog woes, from relieving a canine’s anxiety to giving your feline a play space!
Soothe a pup’s road trip worries.
As the nicer weather approaches, you’d like to take Fido on some road trips — if only he didn’t get so anxious on long car rides.
What can help: Start making short trips to nowhere (like around the block and back) to give him a taste of how uneventful a car ride can be. Then with each drive, spend a bit more time in the car. After doing this multiple times, Fido will learn not to be nervous and you can head out on some fun, long adventures.
Groom a wriggly cat.
If Fluffy just won’t stay still while being brushed, try these cat-grooming tips from our readers (with approval ratings!). These tricks may help keep your feline calm and still so you can groom with ease.
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Wrap your arm around her, placing your hand across her chest and front legs, says Cindy McNeil. This restrains her with one arm so you can groom with the other.
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Start by brushing her face and shoulders with a wet toothbrush, says Tanya Bahm. The small bristles feel much less threatening.
Easily bond with your dog.
To help your new pup relax and show love, try sharing a lingering gaze with him! Next time Buster is curled up next to you, hold a treat to your cheek and softly call his name. When your buddy looks at you, maintain eye contact for as long as you can and blink slowly a few times.
Making this connection will boost oxytocin (the love hormone) for both of you, essentially strengthening your bond.
Make your cat her own garden.
Your sweet feline is always trying to nose around your potted plants, and you wish she’d just steer clear. To keep her from noshing on your beauties, simply offer her some fun plants of her own to sniff!
To do: Take little pots or cut the bottoms off of soda bottles and grow some cat-friendly plants like catnip, cat thyme, oat grass, rosemary, or bean sprouts in them. Then, place them somewhere your kitty likes to roam. She’ll enjoy having her own little garden to sniff and taste, leaving your houseplants alone and in one piece.
Keep pet bowls in place.
Ugh! Your rambunctious puppy pushed his water bowl halfway across the room again, causing you to accidentally kick it and leave a sopping wet mess to clean up.
To prevent this in the future, stick removable Velcro mounting squares to the floor and on the bottom of the bowl. These small squares stick to most surfaces — including tile, laminate, wood, metal, glass, and plastic — and peel away without leaving behind any residue. Plus, they’re strong enough to ensure the bowl stays in place as your canine companion drinks.
Ensure a kitty’s rear stays clean.
Yuck! When Whiskers uses the litter box, bits of poo sometimes get stuck to his backside. The key to preventing this so it doesn’t end up on your furniture is giving your pal a more digestible diet, says a recent study.
To find the perfect kind of food, look for one that is low in fiber and made up of about 30 percent protein. This type of kibble helps make stool firmer and keeps it from sticking to your cat’s fur.
Looking for more helpful tips? Find out which household items you should keep away from your cat, and how to keep your dog warm during spring chills.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.