Showing Gratitude for Your Pet at Thanksgiving!
BY JUDITH LEVY M.ED.,CEHP, RMT
If you’re reading this magazine, my guess is that you love your pet deeply. Most of us do and we often find it difficult to find time to stimulate them or to give them the quality time they deserve. Dogs and cats can become bored and ultimately out of balance and unhealthy if not stimulated mentally, physically and emotionally. This is not to make you feel guilty, just a little nudge to go out of your way this Thanksgiving to show them how grateful you are to have them in your life! The following are some activities, games and sessions that you can provide for your pet. I am sure that they will enjoy and appreciate it and you will in turn feel joy in your heart. Give some thought to which of the following suggestions would be appropriate for you, your budget and your pet!
Enjoyment for all pets!
Dogs and cats like to be clean and they enjoy the affection involved when you groom them with a brush, mindfully intending to care for them. So get an appropriate grooming tool and gently focus on the activity. This will create a space of safety and caring for your cat or dog.
Have you ever meditated or sat quietly in a garden or under the light of the moon? If you have, you will remember the peace that the silence can bring. As you know, our pets don’t express themselves with words. But they do connect with us through energy—by feeling our presence and experiencing us in that way, there can be a deep sense of contact and love. Sit with your pet in a quiet dimly lit space. Simply put your hand on their heart center (across shoulder or left side of chest). Simply feel their breath and feel the movement that the breath creates. Once you feel that connection, send your breath down your arm, through your hand to their heart center. Exchange in this way for just a few minutes. Ahhhh, sweet! If you are “exchanging” with reptile, bird or another being that you cannot touch, simply sit next to them and imagine the energy flow between you as described above!
Stress/ Pain Reduction:
Providing your pet with an integrative treatment session can bring calm and comfort, balance and relaxation. Schedule a Reiki session or energy work for your pet! Or a massage!
Fun for Dogs!
Adventure and Active Fun Outside of your Home:
Check the internet for these activities in your area
- Freestyle Dance—Yes! Did you know you can take dance classes with your dog? It’s a blast! Great way to meet people as well!
- Flyball or Agility—These two active, stimulating activities will give your dog a sense of accomplishment in addition to mental, physical and emotional stimulation.
- Search and Rescue—You and your dog can learn how to search for objects and even people when you get the hang of it!
- Yoga for Dogs—There are now yoga classes for people and their best furry friend. It’s centering, calming, builds relationship and feels great!
- “Find It” – Great activity for dogs and kids—Teach your dog to find treats using the happy command “find it”.
- “Doggie Come” —Great activity for the entire family. Everyone spread between two or three rooms and call the pup back to each of you! Reward with love and a small healthy treat when he comes!
Fun for Cats!
Bring the Outdoors In/ Interactive Games:
- Cat Tree—If your cat does not have a problem with aggression while peering outside; give her a comfortable cat tree or even a chair with a towel. She will enjoy watching birds and the fall leaves! And perhaps you can join her for a few…
- Branches—Bring one in for her to explore!
- DVD of nature and calming music—Some cats really enjoy this stimulation on the TV. You can sometimes find these DVDs a second hand stores so they are not too costly
Hunting, Chasing and Such:
- As you probably know, cats are all about hunting and chasing pouncing and the kill. Two of my favorite cat toys for venting your felines are “DaBird” and a newer toy called “Cats Meow”.
- iPod or iPhone interactive—Wow, your cat can now “catch bugs” on your iPhone! Look for the downloadable program on your device
Have Fun and Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!! I am grateful for all of you wonderful pet guardians!
Pittsburgh PetConnection Magazine would love your input!!
For those of you who live with and/or love horses, hermit crabs, hamsters, birds, fish, snakes, turtles, ferrets, rats, mice, lizards, (and I am sure I am forgetting somebody), please share how you have fun with your pet! Please go to the Pittsburgh PetConnection Magazine Facebook page, PghPetconnectionsMagazine, and share ideas! How do you express your love and stimulate your pets?