3 Resolutions Fur Parents Should Commit for Stronger Bonds in 2017

As most fur parents know, it can be tough to juggle demanding schedules and offer the very best to our love bugs. My 2016 was filled with moments knowing I could do better. Most of these moments occur when I’m rushing my cats to sleep or play , but too often I press myself with hurried expectations and cause unnecessary stress – for me and my fur baby. This year I’m looking forward to doing things a little differently. Instead of simply “doing” things with my kitties, Daisy and Luigi, I want to engage with them.

How to Enjoy Your Fur Babies

If you’ve been letting responsibility get in the way of truly experiencing your pets, there’s good news: every day is a chance to start new. Don’t be discouraged, your fur babies love you unreservedly  (even when you rush their poo time). With 2017 in full swing, now is the perfect time to let yourself love your pets better than ever before.

Here are three new year resolutions to help you enjoy your fur babies more this year:

1. Seize Opportunities

The daily grind can certainly make this difficult, but seizing opportunities is a sure way to make more quality time for your pet – especially when you think you don’t have any. I’ve started this by creating short rituals with my pet. After I feed him, we have a short play time before I have to get ready for work. Sometimes, we play with string or have some cuddles. Other times it’s a 60 second scratch fest where Fat Boy enjoys a good head massage.

Pets, especially dogs, thrive on routine. By incorporating daily moments of playtime,  you’re teaching your pet to engage with you on a level of fun.  If you have a cat, you can try placing a toy in a new spot everyday for them to find, or take a few minutes and really appreciate their cuddling and purrs. To seize opportunities, you have to be willing to spot them. If you’ve let your daily routine become a burden instead of a joy with your pet, try reigniting the spark!

 

2. Be Present 

This tip is the prime motivator for enjoying anything in life. Often I find my mind  wandering when walking my dog or lounging with my kitty.

But if you deliberately set your mind on your pet when you’re with them, you will relish even the most mundane time together. Try setting a specific time each day to give yourself to your pet mentally. During a walk, sitting on a couch, or even before bed. Your pet will notice the attention and will definitely appreciate it!

3. Stick to Boundaries

This last tip is essential for more fulfilling time with your fur babies – set boundaries! This can be difficult if you’re overly attached to your pet. Have you been there? Maybe your dog begs and you resist for two whole minutes, but by your last bite, you give into his longing eyes and drop your food-filled hand to his drooling mouth. For my kitty and I, it’s climbing on tables or sitting on my computer when I’m working. But, he looks so cute, how can I disrupt his enjoyment?!

Our pets understand what they can get away with because we draw boundaries. Sticking to your rules – whether it’s no cats on the counter, no lounging on the furniture or no barking – nourishes a proper balance between you and your fur babies. You are the parent, so you dictate your pet’s behavior. Of course, it can get tiring. But pets are like toddlers and they will never outgrow testing your limits!

New Beginnings

Now is the perfect time to put your best foot (and heart) forward as a fur parent. I hope these tips help you enjoy your precious companions as often and purposefully as possible!

Stay tuned and follow my Instagram and Facebook  for more tips on pet parenting.

Happy New Year!

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