June 4th – 10th is Pet Appreciation Week. This special pet holiday, initiated in 1981, was designed to raise awareness of the benefits associated with owning and caring for a pet. It’s a chance to showcase the benefits of having our fur kids in our daily lives. It has also become the landmark week to remind and/or teach the benefits of timely scheduled pet maintenance care. The folks at the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) have tagged this week with the initials P.A.W.

I think we all can agree that an effort to make the week special for our fur family members is warranted. Of all the members of our family, your pet will appreciate the thought and effort you put into your celebration the most. The 1980’s rock band ZZ Top probably expressed our feelings towards our wonderful, dedicated, and faithful fur friends the best…

“You didn’t have to love me like you did
But you did, but you did.
And I thank you”

Having pets benefit the flesh partner as much, if not more, than the animal. Can any real animal lover imagine a life without some furry companion to share the time and the load? Everyday is a holiday for a well kept and cared for pet… but having the chance to show them a little extra appreciation can’t be passed over.

Studies show that humans who share their lives with a fur friend benefit in several key categories;

  • A pet will force you to have more physical activity

    Regardless if it’s playing on the floor with your pooch, long walks in a city park, the act of picking up poop, keeping your yard cut for your animals comfort, or simply being on the move when spending time with them… your pet is likely helping you maintain a higher activity level and better overall health. Being outdoors improves the mood, can raise certain vitamin levels, and helps to fight depression.

  • Pet’s are a well designed immunity boost

    Growing up in a household with at least one pet helps children build immunity against pet allergens, bacteria, and thus strengthens the immune system. Studies show the earlier in a child’s life a pet is introduced, the chances of allergic reactions to pet dander are lowered.

  • A pet will get your nose out of your phone and away from your TV

    Sure, we all take and post photos about our wonderful fur kids… or we type out a quick social media status of the cute, funny, wacky thing our pets do. However, studies show that pet owners who engage in a health relationship with their animals spend less time watching TV, on the internet, playing video games, or napping. Pets demand and desire attention and a good pet parent doesn’t ignore that request.

  • Helps everyone, fur and flesh, to become more social

    Getting away from the trappings of TV, phones, video games, and spending time out of the house will create natural social interactions. People will want to see and play with your pet, this will push even the most introverted people to socialize because people LOVE to show off their animals. Regardless if it’s a live interaction with your fur buddy, pictures, or a funny story… pet’s will make you talk about them, and the listener often reciprocates with the same.

  • Pets cut your stress

    If you feel nobody cares, you don’t have anyone to talk to, you feel isolated or alone, it’s great to know one person is there to listen… your pet. Pet’s are attentive, they can sense your stress or see that you’re upset and they desire to help you get past the negative emotions. You can tell anything to your fur psychologist and know that the patient/doctor confidentiality will NEVER be broken. Just holding, hugging, even petting your animal starts to relieve stress and naturally calm you down. This is why dogs, cats, even other animals, are used in children’s hospitals and nursing homes as therapy helpers. The look on patients faces when they are greeted by the animal support is amazing. Even some employers are opting to put dogs or cats in the workplace to help their employee’s cut their stress and offload tension.

  • A pet let’s your emotions be free

    How many times have you cried in front of your pet, when you wouldn’t have let anyone else see you break? Pet’s absorb your emotions and fight to bring you back to a more calm, and hopefully happy, state of mind. Humans with pets tend to have higher self awareness, high self esteem, be less lonely, cope with everyday challenges with a more positive outlook, and recover from negative experiences faster and more completely.

  • Pets force us to live in the moment

    Simply because they live in the moment. Most animals live for the day, for the instant, for the moment. They don’t get caught worrying about the future, because you are their future. Pet’s are straight forward, seeing only the time they are living in. With their less complicated, less stressful, and less crowded world, they see life as a simple equation, “Having their people+Having food and shelter+Knowing they are safe=Happiness.” Imagine how much happier we all would be if our lives had those simple cut and dry expectations. Do yourself a favor and see the world through your pets eyes for an hour. Look for the beauty in the world, unclutter your mind and just live in the experience you’re having at that time.

Having a pet is your key to never being alone, never wanting for affection, and always feeling an unconditional love. There is no judgment from your fur kids. They want you to be happy with them.

How do I make P.A.W. special for my best friend? Considering you’re looking to please someone who lives to just be with you, it should be fairly easy to plan out a few special moments, pampering sessions, or special treats for your pet. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

  • Simple surprise’s or gifts

    A pet is no different than a human when it comes to receiving stuff. Special, unexpected treats are always in style and certainly appreciated. Consider gift wrapping a box of their favorite or a new treat, buying a new harness for your walks, presenting them with several new toys, or taking them on a longer walk in an exciting new place. It’s these little surprises that will thrill and excite your pet.

  • Home cooking

    Make a pet friendly meal. Regardless if it’s tuna for a cat, or a nice beef/rice/veggie stew for your dog, a special meal is a hit every time. Try to avoid table scraps or anything that could be on the “do not feed” poison list, but healthy and easy to make meals are all the rage in their social circles. The internet has thousands of good treat or main course recipes that can be made inexpensively with not a lot of effort. The wagging tails, thankful eyes, and happy licks will be proof that your efforts are appreciated.

  • Spend special one-on-one time with your pet

    Carve out another few hours for focused bonding and attention for your pet. Regardless if it’s a good brushing and nail trim, or a longer than normal walk, a visit to Grandma’s house, or just watching TV and having treats in a human and dog setting is a wonderful way to ramp up the excitement during this special week.

  • Listen to a selection of music or watch TV that is designed for pets

    Yep, these specialty niches exist. Music that dogs love, TV channels or programs that are made for animals, these soothing and purposefully designed media genres are created with the pet in mind.

  • Assure your pet’s health, medication, contact, and medical records are up to date

    This is something that need’s to be done at least once a year. Why not use this special week as your reminder to assure you have all the records updated, so that there is no hassle or additional stress should an emergency arise.

  • Teach your pet a new trick

    Some love to please their humans with tricks, other’s could care less. If you have a crowd pleaser, use this week as a reason to teach them one more trick or routine. If they like to learn, they will appreciate the new knowledge and praise/treats that come with learning a new routine.

  • Consider pet insurance

    If it’s in your budget, why not research pet insurance to see if it’s right for you. Sure, it’s a “pay me now, or pay me later” reality with any insurance. However, most pet insurance plans will help you cut the crippling cost of a pet emergency or surgery. Your pet will never know you’ve done this for them but it will ease your mind and might help to lighten the load of pet medical procedures.

Your pet is likely an important and thriving member of your family. Make sure everyone is involved in the planning and execution of your special events, or plans. Based on research, and living life with pets, it’s hard for anyone to argue the positive benefits that a pet will bring to your world.

Also, an idea for your consideration would be to donate your time, or needed items like blankets/food/toys, to a local shelter or rescue during these weeks. Most of the animals that are at these facilities were someone’s pet at some time. Imagine the difference you could make by spending time with these animals as a volunteer, or by providing special gifts to the shelter/rescue animals. They are the forgotten and abandoned masses, don’t they deserve to celebrate this week, as well?

We hope this reminder to celebrate with your pets was educational, inspiring, and will launch you into a planning mindset. Take this special week to pamper and spoil your already pampered and spoiled fur buddy. Is there ever too much time, energy, and emotion spent on your pet? No, we don’t think so either.

This brings to a close this weeks edition of #FreddieSez. We certainly hope this week is full of fun and surprises for your favorite fur family member. Rest assured that we will be remembering all of Freddie’s Friends in our thoughts as the week of celebration rolls on. The gentle breeze caused by wagging tails and long walks will remind us to take pause each day to think of you all.

Tune in next week as we find out what is next for the Peke Prince of Prose as you find out what #FreddieSez! Be safe and pet friendly.