Over 85 million families in the U.S. have at least one pet in their homes. For many, pets are more than just an animal — they are a member of the family. And when pets are so important, you likely want to spoil them to the best of your ability.
While special treats are great, they should be given sparingly. Just like humans, too much indulgence can lead to obesity in pets. You may be thinking you are spoiling them when in reality, you are harming their overall health.
The good news? There are many other ways to spoil your pet without treats to let them know how loved and appreciated they are.
Look Into a Pet Insurance Policy
Insurance may not seem like an obvious way to spoil your pet, but looking into a policy for your pet can make a massive difference in the overall wellness of your furry friend. Life can be unexpected, and accidents or health problems can arise without warning. Using tools like a pet insurance guide can help you find the perfect coverage for your fur baby.
When a pet is part of your family, you’ll want to do everything in your power to help them heal or recover. However, veterinary bills can add up quickly and might be challenging to pay. You don’t want to be left with the choice of not giving your pet the care they need or draining your savings account.
Just as health insurance covers medical costs for humans, pet insurance helps relieve some of the financial pressure if something should happen to your pet. It can also reduce some personal worry knowing your pet can always be taken care of if needed.
Stimulate Your Pets to Meet Their Needs
Just like people, animals get bored over time. A great way to combat boredom in pets is mental stimulation. When pets are understimulated, the results can be negative behaviors such as destructive tendencies or excessive barking. With these behaviors, your pet often tries to send you a message that they are bored.
There are many ways you can mentally stimulate your four-legged friend.
Teach Your Pet a New Trick
Helping your pet learn a new trick can create great mental stimulation. Depending on your pet’s current abilities, the trick can be as straightforward or as complex as you see fit.
Not only will learning a new training trick cure your dog of their boredom, but it can also work wonders in other aspects of their life. Pets gain confidence through learning new things, and it helps create a stronger bond between you and your fur baby.
Treats can be an excellent motivator for your pet to learn their new trick. However, keep in mind treats should be appropriate for the task. When training, small, low-calorie treats work best so you don’t fill your fur baby up on empty nutrition.
Buy or Create a Puzzle Toy for Your Pet
Puzzle toys can be an excellent way to stimulate your pet mentally. There are options to purchase, or you can always research and create a puzzle of your very own.
Many dogs enjoy things like hollow toys filled with treats. These types of puzzles work their brains and can tire them out as they retrieve goodies from the toy. Floor puzzles are also great options to hide treats in and allow your dog to work their way through to the prize.
Hollow toys can be purchased at any pet store, as can pre-made puzzle toys. If you want to get a little more creative, there are plenty of online tutorials to create a puzzle toy of your very own. No matter if the toy is bought or made, your pup will surely enjoy the brain stimulation.
Even cats enjoy puzzles. Though many may think cats don’t need mental stimulation, this is not the case. Cats are hunters, and this means stalking prey comes naturally to them. Toys that stimulate their hunter instincts and prompt them to catch something can be great for their minds.
Keep Your Pet Active to Spoil Them With a Healthy Life
Exercise is as vital to your pet’s health as it is to your own. While your furry friend may not be able to hit the gym, there are many ways you can spoil them with physical activity to keep them healthy and happy.
Taking your pup on a walk around the block or a hike in nature can be extremely exciting for them. Because of their incredible noses, dogs see walks of any kind as an adventure filled with new and interesting smells.
Even if you take them somewhere they have been many times; your pet will still pick up on new smells each walk. They may also meet new people or other dogs, growing their social skills and gaining confidence in the process.
Even cats can benefit from physical activity. Some cats enjoy being on a leash and walking outside. Others who may not be as comfortable with outdoor activities can still exercise in the house. Toys such as wands, lasers, or even running wheels can keep your cat active and healthy.
The benefits of physical activity make an enormous difference in your pet’s overall health. Exercise helps prevent obesity, strengthens their cardiovascular health, reduces digestive problems, and works their joints and muscles.
Limit Your Pet’s Treats to Special Moments and Rewards
Treats are still a great way to spoil your fur baby. However, be sure to limit the number of treats your pet consumes in a day. Giving your fur baby too many treats leads to nutritional imbalances and obesity.
Special treats also lose their meaning if pets receive them too frequently. If your pet learns a new task or follows directions, they may not associate receiving goodies with being rewarded.
While an unwarranted treat here and there is not a cause for concern, it should be given sparingly. Otherwise, you risk treats losing their meaning and causing potential health problems for your pet. Only spoil them with goodies on an occasional basis.
Spoiling Pets and Keeping Them Healthy
Loving your fur baby means you want to let them know how special they are. Though many people may think this means giving them countless treats, there are many other ways you can spoil your pet beyond goodies.
Providing your furry friend with mental stimulation, physical activity, and even purchasing pet insurance to help cover any unexpected medical costs can be great ways to spoil your pet while keeping them healthy.
The best treat you can give your pet is a long, happy life. By spoiling them with any of the above-mentioned suggestions, you can be sure to do just that.
Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, ExpertInsuranceReviews.com. She has five pets of her own and loves to spoil them with a healthy, happy life.