In the words of George Eliot “Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no question; they pass no criticisms”.
National Pet Month is back this April, attracting thousands of animal lovers, charities, businesses, retailers and schools to celebrate the value of pet ownership, raise funds for pet causes and have fun! As Britain’s most popular pets are cats and dogs, we urge you to show your little friend some extra love with treats and toys they’ll enjoy or get ready for bringing a new cat or dog into your life.
MAN’S BEST FRIEND
Every animal has its own personality, but with a dog you get to know that personality so well that you can tell when your dog is unwell, unhappy or if something is wrong. Any dog lover will tell you that the best part about owning a dog as a pet is that they are always happy to see you. Whether you have been gone for a few minutes or a few days, you will be treated with bounds of enthusiasm when you walk through the door.
“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs” Charles de Gaulle
With so much unconditional love bestowed upon you by your dog, isn’t it time to show your love and appreciation? Why not treat your dog to a new and improved bed or some new toys?
When choosing a new bed for your dog, follow these important rules.
- Weigh and measure your dog before you shop for a bed. Measure him from tail to nose with a tape measure.
- Have in mind the room that he will be sleeping in.
- Determine which features are important.
- Select a colour and style that complements your dog and your home.
- Always check the washing instructions before you buy.
When you go toy shopping for your pup or dog ensure you buy toys that are size-appropriate. Big dogs will rip apart and eat toys meant for little pups, which could cause choking and small dogs (or older ones) could injure their teeth on hard toys meant for large dogs. Most dog toys are size labelled but if in doubt ask an in-store expert for some help and advice.
TREAT YOUR CAT LIKE ROYALTY
Cats are in many ways more independent than a dog, and so they have very different needs. Did you know that cats spend around 60% of their lives asleep, splitting their sleeping time up into a series of longer naps throughout the day? Given that cats could almost class sleeping as a hobby, a warm and snuggly cat bed is an essential accessory if you want to make sure your cat stays happy and contented.
“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this”. Terry Pratchett
If you have more than one cat in your household, it is advisable to provide each cat with a separate place to snooze, to avoid any conflict over territory. A wide variety of styles and designs of baskets and dens are available to cater for every cat’s taste. Cats can be very particular about their place of rest: some may prefer something fluffy and padded, whereas others will opt for something more minimalist.
Consider these factors when choosing a bed for your cat.
- Choose the right size. Make sure your cat can stretch out comfortably, but don’t get one that is too big. Cats feel more secure and comfortable in smaller places.
- Choose a bed that is easy for your cat to get in and out of. If you have a kitten or older cat, you’ll want to make extra sure that the walls of the bed are low enough so they get in and out easily
- Natural fabrics for the lining and stuffing are best. This provides extra comfort for your cat and helps with some allergies. Natural fabrics include cottons, wool, feathers, and kapok. Synthetic fibres that are hypoallergenic are also good.
- Choose one that is machine-washable. This will allow you to keep your cat’s sleeping area clean and free from potential fleas and also from allergens.
Cats and their owners love playing together with toys, it is human and feline nature and part of forming a close bond with your cat. Pet shops and discount shops are full of toys suitable for cats of all dispositions, from the nervous to the outgoing and boisterous. Look out for ball toys, play tunnels, scratching posts, stick teasers, treat balls, interactive toys, soft cat toys and cat nip toys.
Some cats prefer delicate fluffy toys, perhaps a cat stick teaser or a plush toy for you to dangle whilst they chase, while other felines prefer the rough and tumble of a rustling bed, cat activity centre or a place to play hide and seek.
HEALTH & SAFETY
There are a few extra items that you should consider when you have a pet. Pet insurance can save you hundreds or even thousands of pounds every year, helping to cover those unexpected and costly vet bills. The Post Office offers pet insurance, covering up to £7,000 in vet fees per policy year.
And don’t forget your pet’s ID tag. All dogs and cats should have an ID tag incase they get lost, to help them find their way home.