National Pet Week is just around the corner. That’s great news for pet owners because you now have a ready-made excuse to shower your pets with affection.

One of the best ways to show your pet some love? Take care of their health.

Here are three ways to balance fun and wellbeing this National Pet Week.

1. Exercise for the Body and Mind

One of the easiest ways to celebrate National Pet Week is something you do every day anyway–exercising your pet!

If you have a dog, they’ll happily tell you when they want exercise. If you have a dog that loves fetching, start a rousing game of fetch after work. If you have a dog that loves walks, take them on an extra-long walk in the afternoon sunshine.

Cats are a little different. They may not shove a ball into your lap, but don’t be fooled–cats need exercise too.

Cats are predators by nature, so they won’t be entertained by a game of fetch. Instead, you can light up their hunter instincts with a simple game.

To do this, you’ll need a long pole with a bit of string and feathers attached to one end. Move the toy above their head like a bird flying or use short, jerky motions to imitate the movements of a scurrying animal.

Chances are your cat will pounce on the chance to play (literally). The trick is to let your cat capture the toy every once in a while. Otherwise, they’ll assume they can’t catch it and lose interest.

2. Visit Your Local Vet

A visit to the vet isn’t as fun as a rousing game of fetch, but it’s just as important for your pet’s health.

Most owners recognize the importance of regular checkups, yet some owners don’t visit the vet unless they show visible signs of illness or injury. That’s interesting, considering that pet owners are now willing to spend more on veterinary care than ever.

The truth is, a regular physical exam can keep your pet healthy for many years. It also helps you spot potential health problems early so that you don’t have to do damage control on a serious illness later.

3. Meet a New Friend

Finally, if you want to spread the love a little wider this week, take the time to introduce your pet to a new friend.

Maybe you take your dog to the dog park. Maybe you organize a playdate between cats. Maybe you decide to take the plunge and adopt another pet into the family.

If you do decide to adopt, make sure to adopt responsibly. Choose a pet that fits well with your family and any pets you already have. You’re making a commitment to care for a pet for the rest of their lives, and you want to make sure you’re ready to fulfill that commitment.

More Ways to Celebrate National Pet Week

National Pet Week is about so much more than showing off your pet on social media. It’s about showing your pet how much you love them.

If you want to spread the love to other pets around the world, click here to donate to our veterinary missions. After all, there’s no better way to spread the love than great veterinary care.

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to encourage treatment or diagnosis of any animal medical condition. For medical advice, contact your veterinarian.

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