How do you spend quality time with your pet(s)?
I think spending meaningful time with our animal friends is an important part of pet ownership. Not all types of pets, like reptiles for example, will be as interactive as your average cat or dog. However, there isn't any type of pet I can think of that doesn't need at least a basic level of care. My Leopard geckos, for example, aren't very interactive pets. I rarely handle them. Most of my time spent with them entails me cleaning up after them, making sure they have food/water, and setting up their tanks. However, I enjoy the time I spend caring for them, and although they may not appreciate the care the way that a dog would, it makes me happy knowing that I'm giving them a good life.
Did you know that studies have shown that caring for a pet can have health benefits? Pets can help with health issues such as anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure. It's common sense that walking your dog is just as good for you as it is for your dog. Maybe easier to overlook is the benefits that can come from caring for less energetic pets. I've found that spending time relaxing with my rabbits, or redecorating my gecko tanks, are great ways to destress and take my mind off things, especially when I've had a rough work day.
I already talked a bit about how I spend time with my geckos. My rabbits, especially Poppet, are a bit more interactive. I spend some of my time with them just on general care, but also try to spend extra time just hanging out with them. Barnaby is especially shy, and doesn't really like to be touched, but if I lay down near him, usually with a good book, he'll follow Poppet's lead and spend some time snuggling with me.
I spend a lot of time with my dog! In fact, he's sitting on my lap as I type this. Working from home most days means that I get Kitsune as my constant companion. Other than just generally hanging out while I'm working, or when my fiance and I are unwinding at the end of the day, I also walk Kitsune numerous times a day. I try to take him to the park/beach, his favorite place, as much as possible. He also really enjoys when we play with his toys with him, and I spend time training, and grooming him each week.
Remember that our pets, unfortunately, don't live as long as we do. We have to make the most out of the time we have with them, and do our best to give them the types of lives that they deserve. Most pets love nothing more than to be able to spend quality time with the humans they love.