1. Rotate Toys. Instead of leaving all the toys out, pick them up and offer them a few at a time. Change it up so your dog isn’t bored.
  2. Go on Walks. Dogs love to sniff and explore. If they spend time in the house all day, it’s a good way for both of you to have quality time together.
  3. Train Obedience. A dog that understands what you expect is happy to oblige. They want to please you. A dog with manners is easier to spend more time with.
  4. Teach a New Trick. One of the ways my dogs and I got through the pandemic was finding ways to have fun. High five, find it, go around, sit in the middle, and leg weaves are just a few of the long list of tricks. Cats are good tricksters too.
  5. Maintain a Healthy Weight. Obesity in pets is a big problem today. Look at all the choices of pet food today geared toward trimming excess pounds. Your pets will feel better in the ideal weight
  6. Play Games. They are beneficial for building confidence and focus, and are fun activities for mental and physical stimulation. You can play games with toys or food. Tug, fetch, flirt poles, hidden treats, and scent games are all good examples. Choose a game appropriate for your dog’s breed and size.
  7. Be consistent with Rules and Boundaries. Everyone in the household is included. Dogs learn from us all the time. They watch and respond according to our praise and reinforcement or lack of it. Giving them mixed signals will confuse them.
  8. Give them a Good Grooming. A bath—if needed—a brushing, or a comb out helps keep them clean, removes allergens from their coat, and gives you a chance to check for fleas.
  9. Verbal and Physical Praise. Talking to them, petting them, or giving them a simple massage makes them feel safe, secure and loved.
  10. Introduce new, good quality treats from time to time. Spread them around the house, drop some among their toys, let them seek and find. It’s fun to discover their favorites.

Cats Special Mention: Keep pine needles away; hang cat safe, shatter-proof tree ornaments with string instead of wire hooks; skip the tinsel and fake snow; avoid mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias. If your tree is live, cover the water source to prevent your cat from drinking. Double check that cords and wires are not exposed and turn off the lights when you leave. Spend some time with your feline fur babies and enjoy a few magical moments together.