Your pet is more than an animal, it is part of your family. For our special fur-dads who get showered with unconditional love from their dog or cat, it is only right to be able to give that love back by spending quality time with them. Spending time together is one of the ways we build relationships, whether those bonds are with people or animals. Being with you is the highlight of your pet’s day, so make it even more special by trying out these bonding activities with your dog or cat.

Teach them tricks

Teaching your pet new tricks is a strong form of communication. Just remember to use positive reinforcement training to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Your dog or cat will see you as a “giver of good things” and solving problems together will make your bond even stronger.

Play games

Dogs love to chase, tug, and run, while cats like to hunt, climb and jump. Play games that encourage their natural instincts.

Dogs love to chase anything that is tossed high up in the air or any fast-moving object. Fetch balls and frisbees are perfect toys to please hyper pups. Another fun game for dogs is tug of war. It’s fun, engaging, and it’s a great physical exercise too. When playing tug just remember to follow the basic rule – stop the game if your dog’s teeth touch your skin. Some dogs may struggle with this more than others since this gme tends to get  some dogs (puppies) pretty excited. If you stop when their mouth touches your hand they’ll learn that ‘the fun game stops when I mouth my person.’

Dogs love to play hide and seek because it lets them use some of their natural scent tracking abilities in a fun and challenging way. To play hide and seek have your dog stay while you go find a hiding spot. Once situated call your dog and praise them when they find you. If your dog doesn’t have a good ‘stay’ you can enlist the help of someone else to distract your dog as you hide.

Cats also love to chase and run after moving things. Use an interactive cat wand to encourage them to chase and swipe. They’ll also have fun chasing balls around the house. You can simply toss it carefully across the room and watch your cat amuse themselves by moving the ball around. You might even be surprised if they return it to you for another round of fetch.

Workout together

Go on daily walks with your pet. Aside from getting the health benefits of your daily physical exercise, your dog or cat would greatly enjoy being able to explore the outdoors with their favourite person in the world.

Go on a road trip

Next time you go on a trip, don’t leave your best friend behind. Take your dog or cat with your for a special trip to the beach or anywhere outside the city. New adventures are always a great way to strengthen your bond with your pet. Make sure to check in advance whether the hotels or restaurants allow pets in the premises.

Make meal-times special

Try making meal-times extra special with your pet. One way to strengthen your bond with your dog or cat is while they’re eating. Instead of just filling their bowl, setting it down on the floor, and walking away, try to set the bowl down on the floor beside where you’re eating too. They’ll see it as another excuse to be beside you.

Challenge their minds

Use a stuffed Kong or other food dispensing toys from Outward Hound Nina Ottosson to give their minds a challenge. Interactive toys encourage their natural scavenging ability and hunting instincts. These mentally challenging games can keep your pets busy for a while. It works well for pets who are left alone at home while pet parents are at work. It helps decrease their separation anxiety, and helps keep them busy while waiting for their pet parents to get home.

Have Quiet Time Together

This can give you a chance to really spend a relaxing quiet time with your pet. Sit and pet him in his favorite spots, give them a nice chin rub, and cuddle as much as you can. This will strengthen your bond and would make your pet feel secure in your presence. This would also be a perfect time to capture some snapshots and selfies with your pets.