Pet parents know that their homes wouldn’t be the same without their furry family members. Our pets are such a big part of our lives, but in the hustle and bustle of everyday, we often forget that for them, we are their whole lives.

We diligently meet our pets’ physical needs every day, but they crave more than that. After all, domestic dogs and cats were bred specifically for their usefulness and companionship; we owe it to them to meet these needs too. Giving them enriched, meaningful lives starts with one thing: simply being present with them.

Be Active Together

When was the last time you walked the dog without checking your phone? Many canine friends want nothing more than to share the highlight of their day with their favourite person, and they don’t care how many “likes” we get. By putting down our phones, we have safer walks, become more patient with our pups, and allow them to show us all the smells and sights that bring them so much joy.

The Power of Play

What is your pet’s favourite pastime? Chasing a laser, tug-of-war, or just exploring the backyard are so good for our pets, but it’s easy to forget to make time for “fun”. Try setting a daily timer and giving them even 15 minutes of uninterrupted play or time learning a new trick. Your pet will appreciate it – especially if you involve the whole family!

Get On Their Level

Cats and dogs spend so much of their time home alone or at our feet as we go about our busy lives. Just like children, lowering ourselves to be with our pets tells them, “I’m listening”. While on the floor, your pet may rub up against you, give you a paw, or attempt to play. Try reciprocating their actions and praising them to show them that they are heard and valued.

When we’re not present with our pets, not only are we doing them a disservice, but we also are less likely to notice when something is wrong. Our furry family members give us so much love, and we have to ask ourselves: are we giving them the love they deserve, too? Our pets are with us for such a short time; let’s make it count.

Dr. I. Wonder is here to answer your questions regarding your furry family members. If you have a question, email it to us at  Our team at Neighbourhood Pet Clinic will tap into their collective experience to answer your various questions.