People have called me a pet psychic, animal communicator and a sort of whisperer. In the ten-plus years I’ve been talking to ferrets and iguanas, horses, parrots and guinea pigs, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks that you can use to improve your lives together. Here are a few you can use for good ol’ cats and dogs:
Dogs Thrive on Routine
Dogs crave structure; in fact, they thrive on it. Set a routine with your dog and do your best to stick to it. Walks, meals and playtime—all of them should ideally occur at the same time every day. In most cases, this kind of routine makes for a blissfully happy animal; it fosters trust and encourages discipline. I recently worked with a dog owner who was frustrated at a lack of consistency in his dog’s behavior; none of its obedience training seemed to stick for very long. Together, we named the pup VP of Backyard Maintenance (“vice-president” out of deference to an older female dog in the family). Every evening at a specific time, he or one of his kids walked the dog around the perimeter of their property. Every time the puppy ran off, they called him back until the job was finished and then gave him a biscuit. Soon he figured out what was expected of him in order to get that treat.
Cats Love Having a Job
It may sound silly to anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of living with a cat to learn that they absolutely love having a job. It can take some time to figure out what sort of job or task is best suited to your particular feline. Perhaps your cats are protective and territorial; great, they can be in charge of security in different areas of your house. If your cat is playful, you can make him or her responsible for testing out new toys and games. One of my clients actually bestowed the title CEO of Naptime on her surly cat because sleeping was the animal’s main occupation.
Our dogs and cats obviously don’t understand English, but they do learn to read our energy and emotions. Animals immediately know when we’re feeling playful or relaxed. By giving them a job, however silly it may sound on paper, you’re setting expectations for them and projecting a specific energetic resonance they crave—your peace of mind.
By naming it CEO of Naptime, my client learned to make peace with her cat’s nature. She stopped fretting and was astonished to find her formerly standoffish pet becoming more affectionate. By setting a routine for his rambunctious puppy and sticking to it—with a bit of biscuit bribery—the dog’s owner learned how to patiently work with his pet’s curious nature and not against it. He relaxed, and the puppy learned to listen.
Why not try adapting these techniques with your own animals?
Remember that a balanced, happy human makes for balanced, happy pets—and vice versa.
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