National Pet Day: Fun Ways to Celebrate With Fido And Fluffy

There’s a pretty exciting day coming up: April 11th is National Pet Day. While many of the pet holidays we observe are dedicated to specific breeds or causes, this one is actually quite generic: it’s simply an opportunity to honor our animal companions and all the love and laughter that they bring into our lives. Below, a local Plano, TX veterinarian recommends some ‘pawesome’ ways to commemorate this big event.

Take Pet Photos

You don’t need an excuse to snap photos of your pet … or to send them to us. (We never get tired of seeing cute images of our adorable patients.) Getting great photographs of Fido and Fluffy is easier than ever before. The ordinary smartphone camera can produce fantastic photos these days.

Here are a few recommendations:

  • Get down on the floor, and snap from your pet’s eye level. 
  • Choose a background that will highlight your pet’s fur. Contrast is essential for taking nice photos. (Of course, you may also go the opposite way and purposefully take a camouflage photo. This works very well with black cats. We love void kitty pics!)
  • Install a pet camera app. These frequently incorporate elements, such as squeakers, that attract pets’ attention and keep them staring at the camera.
  • Examine your phone’s settings briefly. You’ll need a quick shutter speed to capture an active photo of Fido chasing after a stick. (YouTube is a goldmine for this kind of info.) 
  • Shoot during dusk or sunrise, when the light is prettiest.
  • Have fun with editing effects! Fluffy may look super cute with that watercolor filter.

Spend Time Playing With Your Animal Friend

Playing is not only enjoyable for pets, but it is also extremely beneficial to their mental and physical health. Holding a laser pointer for Fluffy or a wand toy for Fido for a few minutes each day can go a long way in keeping them happy and healthy. This will not only keep your little companion entertained, but will also help them stay fit.

Spend Some Quality Time With Your Furry Friend

At the end of the day, Fido and Fluffy really just want to spend time with their favorite people. Spend extra time with your pet. Purrs and tail wags are two of life’s greatest treasures!

Buy (Or Make) Your Pet A Special Treat

Snacks are always a great way to indulge your furry pal. Store-bought goodies are perfectly fine, but you can also make your own!

For an easy dog treat, just mix ripe bananas with peanut butter. (Note: Read the peanut butter label first to make sure it does not contain xylitol (birch sugar), which is hazardous to dogs.) Blend until smooth, then separate into small portions. For this, you can utilize a bone mold. If you really want to go all out, buy a dog treat maker.  This is similar to a panini press or waffle maker, except that it is shaped like a little bone.

Of course, we can’t forget Fluffy. Yummy tuna bites should get that motor going. Combine a can of tuna, salmon, or chicken with plain Greek nonfat yogurt and some parsley. Divide into individual servings and cook in a 375-degree oven until done. (Pro tip: a bottle cap works great for portioning kitty treats out.)

These are only a few examples. You can also try something new. Simply stick to ingredients that are safe. Shredded, canned, cooked, or minced meat, fish, or chicken; egg; fat-free yogurt; and sodium broth are some acceptable options. You can also add healthy vegetables like spinach, pureed pumpkin, or peas.

It’s also important to know what not to feed your pet. That list includes grapes, currants, and raisins;  avocado; nuts; mushrooms; garlic, onions, scallions, and chives;  alcohol; caffeine; chocolate; bone-in meat; or anything containing xylitol. For more information on safe and unsafe foods, speak with your Plano, TX veterinarian.

Get Creative With Crafts

This is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys creating, anyone with children, or both. There are plenty of amazing DIY projects you can try.

You may make catnip mice for your kitty. Catnip can be purchased or grown at home. Cut two identically shaped pieces of cloth into the same shape. It doesn’t actually have to be a mouse. Place them together with the outsides facing inward. Then, stitch them together. Just leave a small gap. When you’re finished, use that opening to draw the material through. Next, fill it with catnip using a small funnel. Sew the top shut, and you’re finished! Give it to Fluffy and tell her not to play with it: she’ll immediately go after it.

You could also make a rope toy for your canine companion. Just cut tiny strips from an old shirt or pillowcase. Braid your strips together. The braids should then be braided together. Continue until you get the desired thickness, and then tie the ends together into a knot. 

That is the basic version. If you want to be creative, incorporate tennis balls or dried sweet potato jerky slices.

There are many more possibilities available online! Beds, box castles, and puzzle toys are all things you can make. Just remember to stick with safe choices. Consult with your Plano, TX veterinarian for more info on this.

Take Your Canine Pal For A Walk

This is mostly for our canine pals, but if your cat is taught to walk on a leash, you can take her for a stroll as well.

Many pups enjoy traveling to new locations. Fido’s adorable nose can provide him with a lot of information, so this is really interesting for him. Intellectual stimulation and enrichment are very important to your pup’s health and well-being! He will also benefit from both the exercise and quality time with you.

Try using an app to find a new location. BringFido is a good choice, but there are others. If you want to go all-out, bring Fido to a pet store or drive-thru on the way home, and let him pick out a toy or indulge in (yet another) snack.

Get Your Pet Some New Digs

There are always ways to make your pet’s space more enjoyable and comfortable, regardless of how large or small it is. This doesn’t have to be a massive project; simply taking little measures can have a significant effect.

Want to please your feline overlord? Build her a catio! Simply place some pet-safe plants and a cat tower on a closed porch or patio, spare bedroom, or even a sunny corner. Put a bird feeder where your kitty can view it to get more purrs. Your feline companion will spend hours basking in the sun, spying on local wildlife, and fantasizing about becoming a hunter.

If you have a fenced yard for Fido to patrol and chase squirrels around in, give it a pupgrade. A doghouse is of course a pawesome choice. Our canine companions should always live indoors with the rest of the family, but they do love and value having spots of their own. If your pet enjoys swimming, he might like a kiddie pool or a pet fountain. If Fido is a digger, offer him a sandbox to bury his toys and treats in.

Set Up An Appointment At Your Plano, TX Animal Clinic

Proper veterinary care is very important for your pet’s health and happiness! Keep those veterinary appointments on schedule. If your dog or cat hasn’t been to our Plano, TX animal clinic in a while, consider making an appointment today!

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