After almost two years of being in and out of various levels of lockdown, and a time of feeling very serious, it’s time to let down your hair and have some fun with your pet. The objective is to laugh and enjoy yourself – create moments when you’re sure your pet is enjoying himself just as much as you are.
This might sound obvious, but bring some fun into your everyday life. Start off by relaxing and using your imagination to create fun elements in your pet’s life. For instance, instead of offering your pet his portion of dry food in the bowl as usual, feed him one pellet at a time. You can even sit flat on the floor with him. Play around by tossing one pellet in the air and see if he catches it, or roll it across a short distance and let him follow it.
Or the next time you groom your pet, play with him first. If he allows it, you might want to tickle him here and there, or massage his paws first, or whatever breaks the ‘mould’ of your daily routine.
Sometimes, we need to forget about everything that we should be doing and just play with our pets. Instead of teaching your dog to play fetch, let him dictate the rules. Allow him to play the game the way he wants to play it. If he doesn’t feel like bringing the ball to you, but rather wants to run away with it, then maybe he feels like playing a game of chase. ‘Surrender’ to his game and play along, by chasing him around the garden. Keep it simple and light-hearted.
The same goes for your cat – if she enjoys a game of chasing around the house, play along and have fun until she ends the game.