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Pet Wellness

How to Communicate Your Appreciation For Your Pet

written by Ellie Walker

Pets enrich our lives in so many ways – they’re trusted confidants, they give unconditional love, and they provide endless entertainment. If you’ve ever wondered how you can show your pet just how much they mean to you, you’re not alone. To help you out, we’ve come up with a list of some of the different ways to show your pet appreciation.

Learn their language

One of the best ways how to show your pet appreciation is by learning how to ‘speak’ their language. Our pets use a combination of facial expressions, postures, and other body language to communicate how they’re feeling. To be able to decipher this language, you need to consider all of the different ways they communicate as a package. To get a better idea of what this mean, just take a look at all of the different elements that make up your pet’s display of the following emotions:

  • Happiness: When a dog is happy, they will show this by holding their tail high or down in a natural position – perhaps even wagging – with a relaxed body, and a partially open mouth that gives the appearance of a slight smile.

  • Anxiety: An anxious dog will have wide, staring eyes – or may avoid eye contact altogether. Their mouth is likely closed, but if it’s open they may be licking their lips or yawning nervously, and their ears will be slightly back and moving as they try to gather clues about the situation. Anxious dogs tend to stand very still, but it’s not uncommon for their tail to wag slowly, which is a sign that they don’t want any conflict. Similarly, they may roll onto their back to expose their belly as a way to show their submission.

  • Anger: Angry dogs will try and make themselves look as big as possible by standing stiff with the fur on their back and neck standing upright. Their eyes will be fixed on the threat, while their ears are pinned back and their mouths wide and teeth bared. While they will most likely be growling, some dogs prefer to remain completely silent.

As you can see, it’s necessary to take all aspects of your pet’s body language as a package. If you only consider one individual piece, such as a wagging tail, you may not be able to correctly identify what they’re trying to communicate.

Feed them a high-quality diet

Not only does your pet's diet play a vital role in their overall health, but mealtime is one of the most exciting parts of their day! Another way how you can show your pet appreciation is by feeding them a high-quality diet. Swapping their kibble – which is full of by-products, fillers, and additives – for recipes made from fresh, whole ingredients offers several health benefits, including:

  • Healthier skin and coat

  • Better digestion

  • Allergy relief

  • Maintenance of energy levels as they age

Freshpet is a great choice because every line offers well-balanced recipes that are full of high-quality ingredients and nutrients to help your pet maintain a clean bill of health. What’s more, pet parents have more choices than ever before as we now have several different lines of recipes to choose from!

Make a commitment to their health

A third way how to show your pet you appreciate them is by making a commitment to their health. We want our pets to live long, healthy lives and the best way of doing that is by keeping up with their routine wellness.

  • Schedule regular veterinary checks: Animals, particularly cats, are experts at masking pain and sickness. This is why it’s important that you get into the habit of booking annual or bi-annual wellness checks, even if your pet seems perfectly healthy. These regular check-ups allow your veterinarian to determine your pet’s baseline health, which will help them more quickly flag if something is off. And the sooner this happens, the better the prognosis for a full recovery.

  • Get pet insurance: Having a plan in place for when the unexpected happens is a thoughtful way how to show pet appreciation. Unexpected costs – such as emergency surgery – can put pet parents in a situation where their options are limited due to financial constraints. Pet insurance can help with these unexpected costs, covering anything from surgeries, alternative medicine (ie. acupuncture), advanced diagnostic tests, and more.

Incorporating these wellness practices into your pet’s life will not only show how much you appreciate them, but it will help them live long happy lives.

Help them look and feel their best

Making a commitment to your pet’s health is a great first step in showing your appreciation, but you can take this a step further by helping them look and feel their best every single day.

  • Brush their teeth regularly: Upwards of 80% of pets have some stage of dental disease, making it one of the most common diseases our pets face. Getting into a regular schedule of brushing your pet’s teeth will help keep their teeth and gums healthy, but should be supplemented by booking annual dental cleanings. These professional cleanings will make sure that all parts of your pet’s teeth – including what is under the gums – stay clean.

  • Learn to clip their nails: Taking care of your dog's nails isn’t just for aesthetics. Their nails can impact their overall health, as overgrown nails can lead to issues such as ingrown nails and infections. You can show your pet that you appreciate them by investing in high-quality clippers and learning how to safely use them. If you want to take this show of appreciation to the next level, consider picking up a silicone wall mat to distract them while you clip. How will a silicone wall mat distract them, you ask? When you apply a layer of their favorite Freshpet roll, your pet will be so busy trying to lick up every last morsel that they won’t even notice that their nails are being clipped! if this is your first time clipping your dog’s nails, don’t worry, we have a full guide ready for you.

  • Keep their coat and skin healthy: Much like their nails, your pet’s coat isn’t purely for aesthetics. Your pet’s coat and skin are their first line of defense, so if you notice your pet’s fur and skin are looking a bit dry or flaky, you should consider upping the amount of essential fatty acids they are getting each day. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids help promote healthy cell growth, replace oils and reduce inflammation in the skin. These essential fatty acids are found in fresh pet food, but supplements can also be bought in the form of oils, chews, and capsules – the format you choose depends on you and your dog’s preference! For more tips on how you can keep your pet’s skin and coat looking and feeling its best, take a look at these tips from Freshpet vet, Dr. Aziza.

Taking a few moments each day to brush their teeth, trim their nails, and check their coat is one of the easiest ways how to show your pet appreciation. Not only will it help them look their best, but it will also help them feel their best as well!

We hope that you’ve been inspired to look for new ways how to show your pet appreciation. Have an idea we didn’t include in our list? We’d love to see them in the comments!

A person holding a black and white dog reaching for a Freshpet recipe.

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