Pet Parenting 101: Self-care Habits for Pets

Pet Parenting 101: Self-care Habits for Pets

You probably have a good idea of what self-care is best for yourself and the people who are close to you. But what is the best self-care for your pets? Cats and dogs have different relaxation needs than we do, but a lot of the principals are the same. Learn some of the best ways to support self-care specifically for your pets.

As a pet owner, you’ve probably already invested a lot to give your pet a safe, comfortable, and loving environment. But you would still wonder, “How else can I take care of my pet?” Better yet, “Am I giving them the right care that they need?”

Dogs and cats, for example, would have varying needs depending on their breed, age, and traits. Some would have special needs, like in the case of senior dogs or animals that have been rescued or have serious medical conditions. 

If humans need to practice self-care to recharge, thrive, and be happier, so do our furry companions. Keep reading to know how you can better care for your pets. 

Keep your pet at a healthy weight 

One of the best ways we can take care of companion animals is by ensuring they maintain a healthy weight. That means feeding your pet the right amount of food for their size, age, and breed. Overfeeding your pet, or simply giving too many treats, could lead to obesity, which can significantly impact their health and well-being. You can achieve this with a few simple steps such as measuring their food, limiting treats, giving them healthy meals, and making annual vet appointments. Remember to choose foods that are biologically appropriate for their species and breed as well.

Keep your pet active

Pets, especially kittens and dogs, have copious amounts of energy, which they need to release through physical activity. Without movement and stimulation, your pets will get bored and resort to destructive behavior like excessive grooming and chewing. Over time, a lack of regular physical activity could lead to weight issues and a host of health problems like weak joints and ACL tears. Pets love to play, and they love to interact with their favorite humans, so playing is an activity that is both mentally and physically stimulating, and maintains your close bond with your pet. Make sure your pet lives a long, happy life by letting them exercise regularly!

Stick to a routine 

Establishing a regular routine is an essential pet parenting responsibility. After all, your pets count on you to give their life structure. That includes sticking to feeding, walking, and playing schedules. This way, they know what to expect, and if you need to change things up a bit to align with your lifestyle or needs, be sure to ease your pets into the new system. Pets will often naturally align with the rhythms in your home, so incorporating their needs into your regular daily routines will make this part easy.

Mind their behaviors 

Training your pet is optional, but is highly recommended, especially if you’re noticing behavioral issues. If you’re struggling to control your pet, chances are, they are having a hard time as well. It only means that they’re adjusted poorly to their environment or their needs are not being met. This is why it’s important to invest in training, at the very least, basic obedience classes and toilet training.

All behavior is communication. So, if your pet is engaging in behaviors that you don’t like, try to think of why they might be acting in that way. Some pets don’t like change, others need more personal attention, while others might have needs that might not be obvious. Sometimes a behavioral issue could also mean a health issue. Begin with curiosity instead of anger and you’ll improve your relationship with your pet dramatically.

Bond with your pet

Pets benefit a lot from socialization most especially with their owners. If you spend at least two hours a day playing or simply bonding with your pet, you’re already doing a lot for their health. Bonding with your pet helps build trust and mutual affection, which benefits not only your pet but also yourself. Whether you’re going on the usual potty walk or lounging on the sofa, don’t forget to show your pet some affection. 

Address your pet’s anxiety 

Like humans, animals experience extreme bouts of anxiety, especially when put in situations they can’t comprehend or that are outside their routine. Loud sounds, strangers at the door, a new home, other animals, separation, flying, the list goes on. If you have an anxious cat or dog, there are different measures you can take to help ease their symptoms. You can try massage therapy, music, exercise, calming shirts, medications, and CBD oil or gummies. There are CBD formulations specially designed for cats and dogs, which come in flavors your pets will love. 

Consider getting pet insurance

As your pet ages, they experience health challenges just like humans do. Even at a young age, they can experience things that would require medical attention, like unwanted pregnancies and injuries. Even your annual visits for vaccinations could carve a hole in your wallet. Veterinary care can be expensive, which is why you can consider investing in pet insurance. Fortunately, there are many options available to suit your needs and financial situation. 


Being a pet parent can be rewarding, but it’s not always easy. Avoid costly and stressful visits to the vet and keep your pet happy and healthy by adopting these pet self-care practices.