While we understand that physical health depends on proper nutrition and regular medical care (whether you have two legs or four), how much time do you spend thinking about mental well-being? I know that for me personally, treating myself to a mocha at my local coffee shop or a blissful afternoon of reading while snuggling with Truffles is chicken soup for my soul.
Our pets' mental well-being is just as important! "Little extras" such as treats, toys, playtime, exercise and grooming all provide essential bonding moments with your pet, and give them the mental stimulation and fulfillment they need for a happy, healthy life.
Here are 3 "little extras" that make Truffles purr with happiness:
1) Toys & Playtime. When I adopted Truffles I went out and bought her a multitude of toys to choose from...interactive toys, catnip bags, feather toys, wand toys. I even put new batteries in an old laser light I had long ago put away in a drawer. Guess what happened? Nothing. She was not impressed with a single thing. In fact, with the exception of grabbing at a pen or stick under a paper bag, her play instinct was pretty much non-existent. I'll admit that I was slightly disappointed, but hoped that maybe in time she would come around. Then at Christmas she received a fabric-covered, plain blue ball and went absolutely crazy. Biting it, kicking it, tossing and chasing it around the house. I had never seen her experience such absolutely joy before and it brought tears to my eyes. My little girl was finally coming out of her shell!!!
What started out as a breakthrough moment has become a special moment that we now share every day. Each morning after breakfast Truffles immediately pulls out her beloved blue ball and starts playing. Those 15 to 20 minutes every morning spent with my special little girl before I leave for work are so, so special to me. It's "our time" together that I look forward to and it remains with me as I go about my day. Playtime gives pets physical and mental stimulation vital to health and happiness, but it's pretty darn therapeutic for me too!
Generally it is best to rotate toys so your can't doesn't get bored. Keep trying until you find what they have the most fun with! And when choosing a toy, be careful to avoid ones that are small enough for your cat to swallow or has pieces that could be chewed off and become a choking hazard. I recently had to throw away one of Truffles' favorite straw balls because it started to come apart.
2) Treats. Truffles is not a big eater at all, but she LIVES for her treats. I have several bags open at once and keep them in a basket in the living room. Whenever she wants a treat she sits in front of the basket and gives me "the look". At that point resistance is futile. It's important to me that her treats are as healthy as possible and that she's not snacking on the equivalent of potato chips all day, and thankfully Hill's has several treats that feature balanced nutrition that pet parents can feel confident in giving their dog or cat. You can read in interesting article on the ingredients that are in cat treats here.
3) Retail Therapy. I love shopping at pet stores for "little extras" to make Truffles happy. My favorite things to shop for are fun cat beds because she is a champion napper! She currently has a lounger that stays in the living room, and also a snuggler bed in my bedroom on top of a bookcase right beside my bed. It's in front of a window too, so she can relax and check out Bird TV at the same time! Fancy collars and cat towers are other great ways to pamper your pet with retail therapy.
If you have questions or need advice about any little extra that you’d like to give your pet, a perfect opportunity is at your pet’s annual checkup with your veterinarian.
To celebrate these little extras, Hill's is giving away bundles of goodies every pet parent can enjoy sharing with their dog or cat. The dog bundle includes a stainless steel dog bowl, a bag of Hill’s Science Diet Dental Chews, a bag of Hill’s Science Diet dog treats and a Healthier Pets, Happier Lives tote bag. The little extras bundle for cats includes a laser pointer toy, a stainless steel cat bowl, eight micro cans of Hill’s Science Diet Grain Free entrees, and a Healthier Pets, Happier Lives tote bag. I have two bundles to give away! (Open to the US only, but our International friends are more than welcome to enter and donate their winnings to a shelter in the US!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
In addition to the little extras bundles, Hill’s Pet Nutrition is offering a $10 off promotion on select Hill’s Science Diet products. Check out www.ScienceDiet.com/GetHealthyHappy to download your rebate today and also to enter to win $100 toward your pet's next vet checkup!
Remember, don’t just get happy. #GetHealthyHappy with Hill’s ScienceDiet.
This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Science Diet® Healthier Pets. Happier Lives.™, but Mochas, Mysteries and Meows only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.