Your relationship with your pet may be one of the most important bonds in your life. They have an incredible influence on our health and wellbeing. Pets are family, and we can’t say that enough. Mine inspire my work daily, and keep me grounded.
But what about the relationships our pets have with people or other pets outside of our home? Here are 5 stars in your pets’ relationship constellation.
5 Important Pet Relationships (in Addition to You)
Their trusted veterinarian.
Next to you, your pet’s vet may be the most important person in their life, so it’s vital that you cement that relationship with an annual checkup besides visiting when your pet doesn’t feel well. Karma-Kat finally doesn’t mind the vet chec…well, maybe a little. With the dogs, we regularly drop in to say “hi!” so vet visits aren’t always scary.
When Bravo-Dawg went through his cancer treatment, the veterinary staff not only supported him, they gave me a shoulder to lean on (and weep on). They help through the tough times but also celebrate the joy. One of the vet techs gave Shadow a squeaky toy as a “welcome to the family” gift.
Their experienced trainer or behaviorist.
Your pet’s trainer is both their coach and therapist. Their relationship can be life-changing. They not only help you teach your pet how to navigate human expectations, but they are also there to answer fitness and behavioral questions throughout their life.
As a certified animal behavior consultant, much of my work focuses on helping YOU understand dog talk and cat talk. Most behavior problems are normal for your pet–and only a problem for humans. Understanding how to provide legal outlets for these behaviors–from play and barking, to scratching furniture or potty accidents–saves relationships and lives. Here’s how to find professional trainers and behavior pros.
Their reliable pet sitter.
Some pets grow to really love their pet sitter, whether they are a professional or your generous nearby neighbors. Not only do they go to great lengths to make sure your pet has loving company, food, water, and exercise, they make sure your home is safe and secure, too. When you choose a great pet sitter they become part of the family.
Their best furry friend.
Humans are great! But for romping in the yard or curling up for a nap, some pets really enjoy the company of their own fuzzy kind. Shadow-Pup adored playing with Bravo, and now he and Karma-Kat tease each other like furry brothers. They have great fun romping and then snuggling together. If your pet craves companionship, call a fellow pet parent for a hike or a playdate. Or if there is room in your heart and your home, it may be time to adopt another pet as a full-time best friend.
Their doting Grand-pawrents.
Let’s face it – if your parents love pets, chances are good your pet loves them, too. Even if the toy basket is stuffed full, family members love to bring treats or a new toy for the “grandpup” or “grandkitty.” I’m a pet lover because I was raised that way–with multiple dogs, and lots of time spent with Grandma’s critters. I live too far away for in “furr-son” visits, but Dad gets a huge kick out of hearing about Karma and Shadow’s antics. What about your folks? If they live close by, they may do double-duty as their pet sitter or walker, too!
Who are the people in your pet’s relationship circle? Friend, family, or professional, be sure to let them know how much you both appreciate their expertise, care, and affection. A note, text, or just a heartfelt “thank you” will say aloud what your pet can only articulate with a happy nudge and welcoming eyes.
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!
Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!
It’s funny that you said that if your parents love pets, that your animal will love them too. My daughter has a cat and my husband and I are the only ones who the cat doesn’t run and hide when we visit. I will be honest, he won’t let me hold him. I can get an occasional head pat if my daughter is holding him and he can’t see who it is. But, my daughter is amazed that he doesn’t bolt through his cat door (it goes to the basement), so I am the new assigned cat sitter when they go on vacations.
Yep, seems like more times than not, the pets know. *s*