Read tips, guidelines and advice about caring for and training your pets, plus all the latest news from Very Important Pets

5 Ways to Challenge and Enrich Your Dog’s Mind

23rd August 2019Dog CareLeave a comment

Pet owners know the importance of providing physical activity or exercise to dogs. Most often they forget that dogs need mental stimulation too. When you provide your pet dog mental activities, it will engage their brain and keep it sharp.

Challenging mental exercise and brain games will keep your pet mentally active. You will be surprised to know that your pet dog is capable of recognising puzzles and solving problems. Mental exercises will also help strengthen the bond with your pet.


  1. Food Puzzle Toys

Food puzzle toys will make your pet dog work for their treat. The puzzle toys require creative thinking and problem solving to release the food. The toys provide mental stimulation to the dog’s mind. The food treat is a bonus.

Your pet dog will have to paw, shake, nibble, roll, or lick the toy to get access to the food. The puzzle toys encourage licking and chewing. This will also have a calming effect on your pet dog.

  1. Pet Puzzles

Dog puzzles are available in many shapes and sizes. You can choose a basic or challenging puzzle depending on the age of the dog.

Gauge your pet’s interest in puzzles and determine the level of difficulty that is ideal for them. The puzzles help relieve boredom and provide plenty of mental stimulation.

As dogs spend a lot of time searching for food, they are receptive to the idea of having to work to get their treat.

  1. Stuffed Kong

A stuffed Kong game is a simple way to keep your pet dog mentally stimulated for a long period. All that you need to do is to put all your pet dog’s favorite treat inside the Kong.

If you want to make the game more challenging you can choose to freeze the treats overnight. Stuffed Kong’s are mentally stimulating and challenge your dog’s ability to get to the treat. It is also a great way to keep your pet busy when you are at work.

  1. Hide and Seek Game

The hide and seek game are a fun and interactive game that will challenge and enrich your dog’s mind. Distract your dog and find a good hiding spot to hide. Call your dog. They will use their natural scent tracking abilities to track you.

Keeping changing the hiding spot so that your pet dog is challenged to find you. Reward your dog when they do manage to track your hiding spot. You can also choose to hide the favorite toy of your dog and encourage it to find it.

  1. Muffin Tin and Tennis Ball Game

The tennis ball game will keep your pet entertained and challenged. Place small treats in a muffin tin and cover them with tennis balls. Your pet will have to remove the ball to gain access to the treat. This simple game is ideal for young dogs and puppies.

Use a little innovation and creativity when choosing games for your pet dog. Encourage and praise your dog when they try new puzzle games. The interactive games will help the dog have fun and keep them engaged.

Ways Having A Pet Can Teach Children About Responsibility From A Young Age

23rd August 2019Cat Care, Dog CareLeave a comment

Adding a pet to your family is a great way to teach children to take responsibility from a young age. Pets teach children important and valuable lessons like compassion, patience, responsibility, respect, empathy, and trust.

When you include your young one in the care of a pet they learn how to love and nurture another creature. Pets require love, water, and food. When you allow your child to take care of the needs of pets, they will learn more about responsibility.

When your family gets a new pet, allow your children to help out. Give them age-appropriate tasks. If your children are young, you can ask them to fill water and food dishes. You can also ask them to pick up toys for the pet.

If the children are older, you can allow them to walk or bathe the pet. Establishing a routine (food, water, walking, personal care) is important for the pet and the family.

With patience, children will be able to follow the set pet care routine. This will teach them responsibility and how to care for another living being.

Pet Responsibilities for Younger Children

  • If you have young children you can assign them responsibilities such as feeding, cleaning, and walking the pet. Explain to the child that one of these responsibilities will be assigned to them.
  • The responsibility that you choose for the child should be something that they can do without any difficulty or harm to themselves or the pet. When trying to teach your child responsibility don’t overwhelm them with too many things.
  • Avoid giving too many responsibilities to your young child. Let the pet responsibility grow with the child, little by little. The self-esteem of your child will grow and they will start feeling more valuable.

Pet Responsibilities for Older Children

  • Ensure that your child understands all pet responsibilities (feeding, cleaning, walking, taking care in sickness). Teach them how each responsibility needs to be fulfilled.
  • Talk to your child about the responsibilities they will be able to handle on their own. Always give simple responsibilities instead of difficult ones.
  • Give a task that the child is capable of doing. The responsibility given should be a source of joy and not a source of frustration.
  • Educate your child about the physical and emotional needs of a pet. Show the children that their actions can affect the health and welfare of the pets. With proper guidance, the child will learn how to care and love a pet.

The skills that children will learn when they become responsible for pets include empathy, patience, respect, loyalty, self-esteem, social skills and physical activity.

The best way to teach children how to be responsible for their pet is to show them by setting a good example. Parents need to be clear about pet responsibilities before a pet is adopted into a family.

Having a pet is an extremely rewarding experience for the children. It will provide them with valuable life lessons on responsibility, compassion, and trust. Encourage your child as this will help reinforce responsibility from a young age.

Fun Ways for Your Dog and Child to Spend Time Together This Summer

3rd July 2019UncategorisedLeave a comment

Summer is the time when the days are long and the weather is warm. There are many fun, exciting, and engaging activities that you can plan for your child and dog.

Here are some fun ways for your child and dog to spend time together this summer.

  • Go to the Park

A park is a great place for both your child and dog to run free and have fun. The active and playful setting at the park also enables them to interact with other kids and pets. This will help build their social skills.

Most parks have pet designated areas. This allows the owners to hang out and have fun together with their child and pets.

  • Teach New Tricks

Encourage your child to teach your dog new tricks. A new trick will mentally stimulate your dog and improve its concentration. It will help your child bond better with your pet.

  • Plan A Workout

Staying active is important for the health of your child and your pet. Plan a fun workout so that they can spend more time together. There are many physical activities that you can plan depending on the age of your child and pet dog.

Biking, rollerblading, skateboarding, and yoga are some of the physical activities that will help strengthen the mind and body. Keep the workout sessions simple so that everyone enjoys it.

  • Read Together

Kids get homework and most often it involves a little bit of reading. Reading together is a perfect activity for your child and dog. Your child can snuggle up with your pet dog and practice reading.

The pet dog will not judge your child when they read. A non-judgmental environment will encourage the child to read and practice their phonetics.

  • Go for A Swim

Summers are hot and a swim will help your child and dog cool down. You can choose to go to a beach or a pet-friendly water park. Do remember to provide a safety vest for your child and pet dog. This will keep them safe in the water.   

  • Hike or Go on A Road Trip

Kids and pets enjoy the outdoors. Going on a hike or a road trip can be a great experience for them. Plan some time outside by choosing a dog-friendly hike trail. The hiking trail will give your child and pet dog an opportunity to explore and learn new things. They will be exposed to new sounds and smells.

  • Cuddle Time

There is no better way to shower your child and pet dog with much-needed affection and love than a good cuddle. Kids and pets love affection showered on them. It will also help strengthen the bond of love between you and your pet.

The fun activities ensure that the dog doesn’t feel left out. The many activities ensure that your child and pet dog enjoy every moment of togetherness this summer.

Smart Ways to Keep Your Cat Cool This Summmer

3rd July 2019UncategorisedLeave a comment

The summer months are here. The hot weather can create a spot of bother for your pet cat. Your cat will not just feel hot and bothered but it will also increase the risk of dehydration and heatstroke.

keepingcatsafeinthe summer - ginger cat

Here are some simple and smart ways to keep your pet cat cool this hot summer.

  • Plenty of Fresh Water

Always ensure that your pet cat has access to plenty of fresh water. Replace the water a few times during the day. This will encourage the cat to drink.

Place many bowls of water both inside and outside the house. This will ensure that the cat has access to water wherever it goes. On very hot days, you can drop a few ice cubes in the water bowl. This will help keep the water cool even in hot weather.

  • Ample Shade

Cats love to snooze during the day. A cool spot with ample shade will help them keep cool when it gets too hot. If your pet cat stays indoors, you can draw the curtains of the windows to provide shade and keep cool.

If there are no natural shady spots in your garden, you can create one by placing a cardboard or cloth over the area. This will help keep the sun out.

  • Grooming

If the cat has long fur, brush it often. A well-groomed coat will help keep cool. Daily grooming will help get rid of dead hair. This will make the cat feel cool and comfortable.

Use damp towels to gently stroke the pads of the paws, the tummy, chin, and outside the ears. You can do this at least a couple of times each day to keep your pet cool in the sweltering summer heat.

cat on kitchen counter

  • Air Circulation in House

Keep the windows open to let in the breeze. This will help circulate the air inside your home. Place a small fan near the window or on the floor so that the cat gets cool air. If you have an air conditioner, you can switch it on for some time to cool the room. You can choose to switch the air conditioner on for especially hot days.

  • Learn the Signs of Heatstroke

When exposed to excessive summer heat pets can get overheated and suffer from heatstroke. Your pet cat is at considerable risk of getting heatstroke in summer as it cannot cool itself.

Gain knowledge about the signs of heatstroke. The symptoms include high fever, excessive panting, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, drooling, and unconsciousness. If you see any of these symptoms it is best to contact the vet immediately.

  • Avoid Exercise and Excessive Playtime

On warm days it is best to avoid any kind of exercise or excessive playtime. Play with your pet cat only during the coolest part of the day. Early morning or late evening is the best time to play and relax with your cat.

Pay extra attention to your pet cat during summers. If you see them show any sign of heatstroke or dehydration, you should contact the vet immediately. This can help save their lives.

Choosing the Right Pet for You and Your Family

3rd July 2019Pet CareLeave a comment

Owning a pet is one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have but adopting a pet is a big responsibility. Before you choose a pet, you should give it a lot of thought and consideration.

Do you want to choose a dog, cat, rabbit, rat, mice, hamster, birds or fish as pets? Do you want to choose exotic animals like a ferret or a snake? There are a wide variety of animals you can choose as pets. Before you make an important choice of pet there are several factors that you need to consider.

  • Breed

The first decision you will have to make is to decide on the breed of pet you want. Dogs, cats, and other animals are available in different breeds. Which breed do you want to select? Different breeds are available in different shapes and sizes.

Each breed of dog and cat comes with its own personality, food habits, grooming needs, and energy levels. When deciding on the type of pet you want, you should take all these factors into consideration.

  • Age

After you have decided on the breed, you need to decide whether you want a puppy or adult pet. Puppies are a lot of fun but they also involve a lot of work.

Adult pets are usually well-behaved but they might have medical issues. Weigh the pros and cons of each age group of pets before you make the choice.

  • Lifestyle and Family Needs

Your lifestyle will decide the type of pet that will fit into your home and family. Do you work full time? Do you live in an apartment with no outdoor space? Do you have young children at home? Do you have other pets at home? Do you have access to pet-friendly parks and other facilities nearby?

All these aspects should be taken into consideration before you choose a pet. All family members should be on board with your decision to get a pet. This will make it easy to manage the different duties and responsibilities related to a pet.

  • Exercise Requirements

Pets need exercise to stay healthy. The exercise requirements will vary depending on the type and breed of pet you choose. There are some pets that don’t require much activity to stay healthy whereas others will need at least 2 – 3 hours of playtime and exercise each day.

  • Costs

Always remember that there are costs associated with owning a pet. Pets require annual check-ups and regular visits to the vet. If they develop any medical issues, it will add to the cost of raising a pet.

Apart from medical expenses, most pets also have specific grooming needs. You will have to invest in grooming products so that the pet stays well-groomed and healthy. This is especially true for pets who have long hair.

If you are unsure about choosing the right pet for you and your family, you can consult a veterinarian. The vet will be able to guide you about the different breeds of pet. This will help you make an informed choice.