From Care to Connection: Strengthen Your Bond with Your Pet with These Activities
For many of us, pets are more than just animals—they’re family members that provide us with unconditional love, support, and joy. It’s only natural we want to strengthen our bond with our pets, and one of the best ways to do this is by engaging in specific activities with them.
Whether you have a tail-wagging pup or a purring feline, the following activities will not only benefit your pet’s physical and emotional health (and likely yours!) but also provide you with an opportunity to connect with them on a deeper level.
#1: Exercise and Play
Engaging in physical activities with your pet can have multiple benefits beyond keeping them physically and mentally healthy. From going on a scenic mountain hike with your dog to playing a rousing game with your cat, playtime and exercise outings are also great opportunities to create positive memories, improve communication, and strengthen your relationship.
#2: Teach Them Something New
When you teach your pet a new trick or behavior, you provide mental stimulation, which can help reduce boredom and destructive behaviors. Moreover, teaching your pet something new requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, all of which can enhance trust, communication, and respect between you and your pet.
#3: Have a Cuddle Session
A cuddle session with your pet is a wonderful way to relax and strengthen your bond. In fact, cuddling with your pet has been shown to release oxytocin (aka “the happiness hormone”) in both animals and humans. The hormone promotes feelings of trust and empathy and can contribute to a strong human-animal bond.
Put on a movie or grab a book and settle in with your pet for a while.
#4: Surprise Them with a Special Treat
You know that feeling you get when someone surprises you with a bouquet of flowers or your favorite food? Animals can experience that same joy! Whether it’s a new toy or a tasty treat, surprising your pet with something they love can create a moment of shared happiness and excitement.
On top of that, treats can be a valuable tool in training and behavioral conditioning. By providing positive reinforcement with treats, you can help your pet learn new behaviors and tricks while strengthening the connection between you.
#5: Give Them the Full Spa Treatment
Think spa days are just for humans? Think again! Dogs need regular baths, which serve to get rid of the dirt that’s collected in their coat and help keep their skin healthy. As a general rule, if your dog looks or smells like they need a bath, it’s time. This translates to about once every 3-4 weeks for most dogs.
To create a special bonding experience centered around cleaning your pet, pamper them with a full spa day! This provides an opportunity for you to show them love and affection while also caring for their physical and emotional needs.
Here are some steps to follow for a relaxing and enjoyable spa day for your furry friend:
Step #1: Start with a gentle brushing.
Brushing your dog’s fur helps remove loose fur, dirt, and debris while promoting a healthy coat. Using a brush designed for dogs, gently brush their fur, starting at their head and working your way down their body.
Step #2: Give them a dose of soothing hemp oil
Some dogs can get a bit anxious when they know it’s bath time. These pre-bath jitters can be soothed by giving them a dose of high-quality hemp oil, such as LunaMarie’s Cold-Pressed Hemp Oil, before the bath. The oil can either be put in food or directly into their mouth.
Hemp oil has been known to help reduce anxiety in dogs, making the bathing experience more comfortable and less stressful for your pooch. Bonus? It’s rich in essential fatty acids that promote a shiny and healthy coat, improve joint health and mobility, and reduce skin irritations.
Step #3: Give them a warm bath
Start by using treats to gently help lure and settle them in the bathtub. Wet your dog using warm water. Then, gently massage shampoo into your dog’s fur for 4-5 minutes, avoiding their ears and eyes. Using a doggie bath brush is an excellent option, as it helps get the shampoo deep into the fur and feels incredible!
Make sure you use a shampoo that is specifically made for dogs, like LunaMarie Moisturizing and Soothing Pet Shampoo. This is important because dogs have a different skin pH than people do. If you use a human shampoo on a dog, it can irritate its skin.
For an even more luxurious treat, you can run a warm bath for your pup and toss in an all-natural doggie bath bomb, such as LunaMarie’s Sea Salt Lavender and Vanilla Organic Doggie Bath Bombs. This will create sudsy bubbles that you can use to wash your dog. If your dog doesn't like the fizzing from the bath bomb, simply add the bath bomb to dissolve in their bath water before they jump in. This way they will still soak in the water and smell wonderful afterward.
Next, rinse your dog thoroughly with warm water, ensuring all the soap is removed. Towel-dry them as best you can once bath time is finished. The rest of the water will undoubtedly come off during their joyful post-bath zoomies around your house!
Step #4: Pamper their paws
After your dog has dried off a bit, give their paws the spa treatment by massaging a paw balm, using LunaMarie’s Lavender Paw Balm, into their paw pads and between their toes. The moisturizing properties of shea butter, coconut oil, and other natural ingredients help to hydrate dry, cracked, and irritated skin. Paw balm can be applied to dry, itchy noses, too!
If you’re looking for a convenient way to get all the essentials for your pet’s spa day, LunaMarie’s Pet Spa Kit has you covered.
A Final Word About Bonding with Your Pet
The connection between you and your dog or cat is more than just an owner-pet relationship—it's a special bond built on affection, trust, and companionship. By engaging in the activities mentioned in this article, you can create lasting memories and deepen your connection with your beloved fur-child.
Whether it’s exercising together, teaching them new skills, or having a bougie spa day, there are plenty of ways to show your pet just how much you love and care for them!
Meta description: Looking to deepen your bond with your pet? These five activities will not only benefit your pet’s well-being (and likely yours), but also strengthen your relationship.