7 bonding activities for you and your happy, healthy pet

We all love having fun with our furkids.

It almost seems like we can never get enough of them, and even more so if you’re starting to head back to working in the office. To make the most out of your time together with your pet, why not ensure that their playtime benefits their well-being too?

We’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of physically, mentally, and socially stimulating activities that are as enjoyable as they are healthy for you and your pet!

1. Take a hike together

Hiking is excellent for your minds and bodies. According to scientists, you can expect more benefits beyond what you get from usual exercises. For example, research suggests that trees may secrete certain mood-boosting organic compounds! Also, the fact that you’ll both be surrounded by living, breathing nature means always having to adapt to a non-constant environment. This offers excellent mental and physical stimulation for both you and your pet, and a distraction-free setting for deeper bonding.

Check out treks such as Green Corridor, Zhenghua Park, or the Southern Ridges. Just don’t forget to start slow and bring the right gear – especially for precaution against bugs, dirt and grime.

2. Enjoy a day at the beach

Ah, the beach — a sunny paradise for us and our four-legged friends! Not only is swimming in the ocean great therapy, but the healing properties of saltwater can also help with wounds, restore their skin, and even improve their coats. Fun in the sun can also help with the absorption of vitamin D, strengthening their immune system and maintaining healthy bones. While you’re out, it’s important to keep your pet’s coat clean in-between baths and protect them from parasites like sandflies!

Do note that vitamin D gained from sunlight exposure is just a supplementary amount; most of it should still come from a balanced diet.

3. Organise a pet gathering

A (COVID restriction-friendly) gathering with furry friends and their hoomans is a great way to improve your pet’s socialisation skills! Your pet can learn the rules of behaviour, ranging from when to back off to the right way to express excitement around others. Being in a group setting can also be a confidence booster as they navigate the new and unfamiliar. As for you, a well-socialised pet usually means one that’s less prone to restless or destructive behaviour. You would also benefit from building social connections; after all, research has proven that animals could serve as a social lubricant for people, making it easier to strike up conversations. A picnic (with human and pet-friendly munchies), a game of frisbee or fetch are just some group activities that would bring you a lot of joy and Instagram-mable moments.

4. Plan a special pampering session

Instead of leaving them at home while you dine out, share a meal with your furkid at a pet café, such as Open Farm Community at Minden Road, Sun Ray Café at Serangoon Gardens, and many more!

You can look forward to a selection of thoughtfully-prepared entrees and desserts for pets, in addition to human food.

Alternatively, what about a little staycay (or should we say ‘paw-cation’)?

Look out for pet hotels that have been officially certified ‘pet-friendly’, like Capella Hotel in Sentosa and Four Seasons Singapore, which have services and amenities that are exclusively for pets – think jacuzzis and even personalised towels for Snuffles and Spot!

5. Turn your home into a giant playpen

Your home can be a fantastic ground for stimulation. Create a treasure hunt – hide treats around the house and watch them unleash their inner hunter! It’s an activity that trains exploration and memory, while developing problem- solving skills.

You could also get your pet toys that promote curiosity and exploration, while bringing oodles of fun!

6. Participate in a training class together

Want to take your pet’s training to the next level? Consider enrolling in a training class!

Form a deeper bond you play, run, and accomplish tasks together! It’s also a great way to strengthen their sense of balance, agility, spatial perception, as well as improve the communication between the two of you. Here’s a tip: have yummy treats on hand for greater motivation!

7. Give your pet a relaxing massage, or just cuddle

Massage isn’t just for humans!

There a many physical and psychological benefits, such as stress and anxiety reduction, improved circulation and tension release! These health benefits go both ways – it’s been proven that simply just your pet increases serotonin and dopamine levels in humans too! Say hello to a happier, calmer, and perhaps even less achy you. Even just a quick belly rub or snuggle could be very rewarding!

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