Looking for ideas to keep entertained this July?
Animal Welfare League NSW has 31 things to do for you and your pet to try!
For many pet owners, keeping our furry friends happy and mentally stimulated can sometimes be a struggle – especially if you find yourself stuck at home for prolonged periods due to isolation or COVID-19 restrictions! Pets have been the heroes during this pandemic, often being a source of companionship during periods of loneliness and stress. We have so much to be thankful for if we have a pet in our lives.
To help you and your pet stay busy during the month of July, Animal Welfare League NSW has some great ideas to try. Just one a day can help to fill those long days with purpose, and can strengthen your relationship with your faithful companion. There are so many fun things we can do to keep those tails wagging!
So what are you waiting for? Let’s make those memories (and treasured Instagram moments) that will last a lifetime!
- Stuck inside? It’s time for your favourite pet-themed movie!
July can bring those temperatures down, so now is a purrfect time to snuggle up on the lounge with your pet and watch a cute animal movie. Some of our favourites include 101 Dalmatians, Marley and Me (don’t forget the tissues!) and The Secret Life of Pets. Not feeling a movie? Why not turn on 10Play to watch all the amazing UK series of The Dog House? You won’t be disappointed!
- Feeling good on a Friday? Share the love and donate to your favourite animal charity!
If you’ve woken on the ‘right’ side of the bed this morning, you might be appreciating all the good things in your life. There’s something about Fridays that make us put a smile on our face, and you can help spread the joy by donating to your favourite animal charity. While many of us are in lockdown, a simple phone call or making a donation online can help animals that are less fortunate than our beloved pets. Want to support Animal Welfare League NSW? Donations can be made by calling 02 8899 3333 or online here.
- Learn a new pet-treat recipe!
It’s time to get out those unused cooking utensils and bake a special treat for your special pooch. Be sure to only use pet-friendly ingredients and avoid any ingredients that might give your pet an upset tummy. Need ideas? Check out these great recipes from the Manly Dog Training Club.
- Stretch those legs, it’s time for a walk!
Taking your dog for a walk can have many great benefits. Not only do you get the chance to explore the great outdoors and your local community, but it can also provide great physical benefits for both you and your dog. Daily walks can help our cardio fitness and keep those waistlines trim – overweight dogs are prone to more health issues so your dog (and your wallet!) will thank you for it! Going on lots of adventures can also help to combat boredom and destructive behaviours. Don’t forget the **** bags and water bowl!
- Spoil your dog with a fun new toy
Is it about time your dog received a playful new toy? Toys can be a great way to interact and engage with your pet. Watch their enjoyment come to life as they jump and play with a fun new item that’s just their own! Did you know? Australia has a high rate of pet ownership and this is reflected through the great range of pet retailers that offer a wide variety of different toys to cater for all types of purrsonalities!
- Need some quiet time? Pick up that book!
Need to relax and unwind? A book can be a great way to learn about our pets with many great training books and articles available. If you would prefer something more digital, why not follow a veterinary or dog advice podcast? Or you might just find some blogs online and learn about all the amazing ways pets can enrich our lives.
- Downward Dog?
Doga (dog yoga) is becoming more and more popular and something that can easily be achieved at home. Yoga is the art of relaxation, stretching and meditation, and it can have many positive mental and physical health benefits. Combine this with our dogs and you’re on board a trendy new way to exercise and feel better. Click here to learn more about Doga.
- Teach your dog a brand new trick!
Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Yes absolutely! Training your dog to learn a fun new skill can be a great way to bond with your pet. And there’s so many to choose from! You might want to teach your dog some nice manners, maybe you can teach them how to stay on a mat or how to take a treat gently. Want something more fun? There’s lot of online videos and articles to help you teach your dogs a range of tricks. Click here to see some of our favourites – and don’t forget to reward your dog with lots of yummy treats!
- Make your pet pretty!
When was the last time you washed or brushed your pet? It is really important that our pets receive regular grooming, with some breeds requiring more frequent brushing than others. Regular brushing will help your pet to look and feel their best – and will help to stop your dog getting matted fur (that would make any professional groomer scream!). Avoid the scissors and invest in a great pet brush that will gently comb away dead undercoat and untangle those unsightly knots! There’s lot of great-smelling dog care products out there too, so a wash every now and again can make your dog look their best.
- ID please!
Is it time to buy an ID tag? Did you know that in NSW, it is a requirement for your pet cat or dog to be microchipped and registered with your council. They must also wear a collar with a tag which lists your contact information. If you move, remember to update your details with your local council or by visiting the NSW Pet Registry website.
- Let’s take a selfie!
Why not show the world just how much you love your dog! Take a photo of your precious pet to treasure them forever for when they are no longer with us. Maybe share that selfie on your social media account and encourage your friends to do the same – let’s fill our feeds with beautiful pet photos during a time we could all do with some cheering up!
- Visit a dog friendly beach or park
During restrictions, it’s important to ensure we exercise in our local area BUT maybe your local area includes a friendly dog beach or park to visit? If so, it’s time to get out of those PJ’s, put on some joggers, grab the lead and go an adventure. Find a new bush trail or scenic route to take – who knows what you and your pooch will find!
- Is my pet healthy?
There is a lot of responsibility that comes with owning a pet and making sure they are up to date with their vaccinations and health care is really important. When was the last time your pet received a vaccination? Are they up to date with their flea, worming, and parasite protection? If you have some extra time today, search for those veterinary records and make sure your pet hasn’t accidently missed a trip to the vet!
- Buy your pet a brand new bed
Brrrr it’s cold outside and a snuggly new bed could be just the thing to keep your special pet warm during those cold winter temperatures. Does your dog need a new outdoor bed? Do they have a safe space to sleep indoors if it gets too cold? Does your pet have a safe and enclosed kennel to protect them from the weather? Now is the time to make sure our pets are warm and comfortable – especially if they are older or suffer from arthritis. If their old bed is still in good condition, consider donating it to your local shelter or rescue group.
- Tell your pet that you love them
Have you ever told your pet that you love them? There’s never been a better moment to tell your pet how much you appreciate them. Can you think of 5 different reasons why you love your pet? Write those reasons down and keep it safe to read later. When your pet has crossed Rainbow Bridge, this message will give you a beautiful piece of history to reflect on.
- Has your pet gained some weight recently?
Is your pet looking a bit more ‘cuddlier’? If so, it might be the time to reassess their diet. Perhaps your pet is getting older and is slowing down? Maybe they don’t run around as much anymore and need a different diet to accommodate their slower lifestyle. As pet owners, it is important to ensure we are not overfeeding our pets and are providing them a species-appropriate diet to avoid any illnesses later on in life.
- Manicures and pedicures for our pets
When was the last time your dog had a manicure? Not only does regular nail trimming make your dog look and feel better, there is also a serious side to ensuring your dog’s nails are kept short and tidy. Long nails can impact your dog’s posture and their ability to move freely. If your pet doesn’t like having their feet touched, it might be time to research ways into making this a positive experience and when in doubt, ask your local groomer or vet clinic for advice.
- Is your backyard pet-proof?
Have you pet-proofed your yard? As a responsible pet owner, it is important to ensure our pets can not escape their enclosures or yards. Not only does this help to protect their safety and wellbeing, but you could be fined for having a roaming pet by your local council. Eek! Take some time to assess your backyard and make sure your dog can not dig under or climb over fences, and that they have a safe retreat to enjoy the day when you’re not home.
- Is ‘just because a reason’? Of course it is!
Create an online fundraiser for your favourite animal charity and encourage your friends and family to donate if they can. It’s amazing what a small gesture can do! Online fundraisers can make great alternatives for birthday presents and you will be instantly rewarded for helping those less fortunate.
- Play with your pet
Been too busy? Don’t have time? We can all be guilty for not making time to spend with our loved ones, but it’s really important all pet owners dedicate parts of their day to spend with their pets. Take a moment away from the phone or computer screen, go outside and enjoy the sunshine with your dog. Play with their favourite toy or simply appreciate a cuddle. You will thank us later when your pet is no longer around, because these are the moments in life that matter most – being with our loved ones!
- Learn to sew or knit a pet coat
Are you handy with a sewing needle? Or do you need a new hobby during moments of lockdown? Why not learn how to make a warm new coat for your pet! Creating items can be loads of fun, and a great way to show off how talented you are when the end result is fabulous – and functional! Make sure your pet’s coat doesn’t include any potential choking hazards or restrict their movement. Here’s a knitting pattern to help you get started.
- Attend an online webinar or join a training class
Want to learn more about your pet or gain more knowledge in a particular area? Google can be a great tool to find online training classes and webinars. And when COVID-19 restrictions ease, why not join your local dog training club? Maybe you will learn a new sport like Agility, or simply experience positive new ways to spend time with your dog.
- Check that smile!
Has your pet ever had a dental health check? It might not seem necessary, but a quick dental hygiene check is a must to protect them from gum disease, infections, and even organ failure. The gums are a gateway into the bloodstream: the more bacteria your dog has, the more likely for that bacteria to spread to the heart, kidneys, or liver. Speak to your local vet clinic about a dental health check when restrictions ease.
- Let’s get social
Aussies love their pets, so it’s no surprise that many of us have an Instagram account especially for our pets! Is your pet Insta-worthy (of course they are!)? Do you take way too many photos of your pet or do you simply want to share their journey with the world? If so, create an Instagram account and let them become Insta-friends with other online pooches. If this sounds too hard, why not follow other pets? There are so many wonderful pet Instagram accounts to follow and enjoy!
- Treats please!
What is your pets favourite treat? Splurge today (if you can) and spoil your pet with their favourite treat. Just make sure that yummy treats are given wisely and in conjunction with a balanced diet. Will you buy their favourite treat online or make it yourself?
- Do you have pet insurance?
It’s horrible to think about, but every pet owner should consider pet insurance. Even if you believe you have enough money to cover veterinary costs, pet insurance could still save you thousands of dollars if your pet gets unexpectedly sick or injured. Especially if you have multiple pets, your out-of-pocket costs could add up considerably without insurance. During moment of stress, the last thing you need is an enormous veterinary bill. Take some time today to compare policies and think if pet insurance is right for your household.
- Donate old items to charity
Feeling generous? On behalf of your pet, why not donate goods to your local rescue or animal shelter. Used items that are still in good condition are always appreciated by animal charities and can come in handy to help care for homeless pets. Maybe some old toys, leads or bedding can be donated? If you’re feeling really generous, why not order something online and have it posted directly to the charity. Contactless and philanthropic!
- Create a puzzle
Mental enrichment is really important for your pet, especially on rainy days where they may be stuck inside. Snuffle mats are one of our favourite ways to encourage pets to use their amazing sense of smell and can be easily made at home. Simply hide some food in the mat and watch your pet figure the puzzle out! Learn how to make a snuffle mat here.
- Buy a new collar or lead
Is your pet’s current collar looking a bit sad or old? Spoil your pet with a fancy new collar, lead or harness. Make sure they are well-fitting and are fit for purpose. A brand new engraved ID tag could be the pawfect finishing touch to make your pet look fabulous!
- Include your pet in your will
You might assume that your family or friends will care for your pet in the event of your death but it isn’t something you should leave to chance. Having a conversation now will ensure everyone understands your request. If you haven’t already created one, it might be time to create a Will to ensure your wishes are carried out. Having your request known and planning for the future will help to ensure your pets are cared for appropriately after you are no longer here. Without a Will, there is no guarantee that the process of rehoming your pets will be done to your satisfaction.
- Share this blog!
If you’ve had fun trying some of these ideas, share this article on your Facebook page and encourage your friends and family to try these out with their own pets.