The importance of the domestic environment on pet psychology
It’s official; we are a nation of pet lovers, and we are taking our pets’ emotions and psychology into consideration more than ever before, evidenced by the sheer number of professionals who are willing to help us to understand our pets. However, you needn’t spend hundreds of dollars to make your pets happier; in fact, simply adjusting your animals’ environment and changing the way you react to certain situations can make for a happier household all round.
Pet psychology: the basics
As members of our families, our pets deserve to feel comfortable and loved in their surroundings. The environment in which we reside is key to our pets’ wellbeing; simple things, such as your home’s layout, the placement of your pet’s personal items, the available outdoor space, and their toys, can have a direct effect upon their happiness, and an unhappy cat or dog can be appeased with a few simple changes.
Maximize your pet’s wellbeing
When it comes to introducing a new pet, or moving home with pets in tow, it is essential totake things slowly. Allow your animals to explore their new surroundings in their own time and, in the case of bringing a new pet into your family, be sure not to bombard them with new sights and smells; meeting one family member at a time will make sure they’re not overwhelmed or frightened, and will make for a happier household in the long run. If you’ve recently moved home, take along your pet’s favorite items and unpack them first so that they feel automatically safe and secure. Never follow your pet as they explore their new surroundings; it may make them feel wary or nervous.
Life would be very boring without our games consoles and electronic devices, and our pets also have a right to fun, and should be provided with suitable toys and accessories to keep them entertained and busy. Toys that dogs have to chase and seek out can encourage them to use their natural instincts, which they can lose in a domestic environment, while balls and squeaky objects will keep them active and stimulate their senses and natural behavior. Cats, while seemingly more aloof and independent, also need stimulation and fun, including toys to chase, things to climb, and places to hide.Cat furniture, such as scratching posts, is also a great idea, as it enables them to keep their claws trim, exercise normal cat behavior, and stay active, without sacrificing your sofa or table legs.
Outdoor space is important, particularly for house animals that may otherwise be deprived of fresh air and exercise. Cats and dogs will need suitable outside space in which to roam; screened areas and fenced enclosures that lead from inside to out can be a great way for indoor animals to experience the world around them, offering freedom without the risks of a busy road or other animals. Dogs need regular walks; this will encourage bonding with your pets as well as providing physical and mental stimulation.
When it comes to your house’s layout, there are a few simple things that you can do to ensure your pet’s happiness. Place their litter box and food somewhere quiet that’s not in the areas with the most human traffic; a nervous or new pet may be too worried about letting their guard down to eat, or use the toilet, if they are constantly being disturbed. Your cat or dog will also need somewhere they can hide, such as a covered crate or a space under the stairs, ensuring they have a retreat away from the family. Similarly, make sure they have somewhere cozy to relax while they’re in your company, enabling them to spend time with you in comfort.
The domestic environment is more than where you live; it is the family unit that you build up around your pets. Your pets need to be played with, talked to, and have time spent with them to keep them content and safe. However, you must also recognize when they want to be left alone; allow them to expel their own energy and to relax in peace. Cats, in particular, are not highly sociable animals by nature, so don’t force anything upon them that you would be unhappy with; sometimes it is important to just be patient, allowing your pet to come to you and let you know what it needs and wants.
Our pets are part of our family, and it is essential that we allow them to feel as comfortable as we do. After all, we make decisions about our home’s layout, furniture, and décor based on what will keep us content; why shouldn’t our pets’ considerations also be taken into account?