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If you’re a pet parent—or an inspiring pet parent—you may have heard a thing or two about how amazing it can be. Yes, owning a pet does come with time and responsibility. After all, they are pets and rely on their humans for love and care.

But pet ownership is about more than a walk a day, feeding them, taking them to the vet, and maybe hanging their custom pet portraits on your wall. When you do it right and take the time to bond—truly bond—with your pet, the outcomes are far worth it.

The Wow Factor of the Human-Pet Bond

If you go to your favorite search engine to look up information about the human-pet bond, you’ll be pretty amazed by the statistics you see. In fact, 95% of pet owners think of their pets as family members. That says quite a bit when you consider that to be part of a family, you must do your part and play a role.

But what role do animals play in our lives besides being that cute family member that gets lots of extra attention? Well, first of all, pet owners tend to live longer than those who don’t have a pet. Pets encourage social interaction, increased physical activity, and better nutritional habits. The result is often lower blood pressure, lower anxiety, and less risk of participating in risky behaviors.

Sounds too good to be true, right? We promise it’s not. So, if you want to get all those wow factor benefits of pet ownership, it’s time to start growing that unbreakable bond that will pay off for your and your pet’s lives, too.

11 Fun Ways to Bond With Your Pet

When you bring your pet home from the breeder, adoption center, or pet store (we encourage pet adoption from your local humane society), you’ll likely notice that your pet wants to be with you all the time. Sure, they might be a bit timid, but as far as they know, you will be their front and center for the rest of their lives. So, while it seems like bonding might come naturally, there are some things to do to help that process along. Doing so will result in a better-behaved pet, as well.

Here are our tips and tricks to bond with your pet.

  • Playtime is Together Time

Pets love to play, especially young ones. And more so, they love it when you play with them. Try activities like fetch or hide-and-seek. These games keep your pet’s body fit and mind sharp and engaged. Plus, the process will give you plenty of smiles and some laughter. And we all know laughter is the best medicine.

  • Training Sessions

Yes, it can be fun to teach a new dog new tricks. But training isn’t just about tricks; it’s about building a language of love and respect. Using positive reinforcement can help you communicate better with your pet. This helps to grow trust. And if your pet can’t trust you, who can they trust?

  • Puzzle Toys

Challenge your pet with puzzle toys that stimulate their brains and reward their persistence. It’s a fun way to keep their minds active and engaged, making every day more interesting. Head over to your local pet store to check out the selection of puzzle toys and watch your pet enjoy these toys over and over again.

  • Daily Walks

A good pet, especially a dog, is a tired one. So, make sure you do not underestimate the power of a daily walk. Walking is good for your pet’s health and offers a sensory adventure that keeps them curious about the world—in a good way. Plus, your body and physical fitness will benefit, too.

  • Make Homemade Toys

We’re not saying you need to be all Martha Stewart and such. But, you can get creative by crafting homemade toys. This provides a unique plaything for your pet and adds a personal touch to their playtime. And it can be as simple as a water bottle filled with some coins, a tennis ball in a sock, or a braided t-shirt rope. Just remember to keep an eye on these toys and discard them if they fall apart.

  • Pet Massage

Learn pet massage techniques to help relax and soothe your animal. This intimate form of care can deepen your bond and help your pet feel more loved and secure. Trust us on this one. The next time you give your pet a good belly rub or a massage, watch them gaze at you in adoration. They’ll love you for the effort.

  • Photography Sessions

It’s estimated that people take over 400 pictures of their pets each year. And why not? Capture the beauty of your bond through photography. This is not only a fun activity, but you may even be able to turn your pics into pieces of art, such as custom photos to hang on the walls, a sweater emblazoned with your pet’s photo or a photo mug for your morning coffee routine.

  • Regular Grooming

Regular grooming is essential for your pet’s well-being and can be a special bonding time. It shows you care about their comfort and health, making them feel well-loved. So, get out that pet brush and give your pet a good brushing to renew their coat—and help them cool off when the weather is hot outside.

  • Quiet Time

Sometimes, bonding means simply being together. Sit quietly with your pet, offering gentle strokes or cuddles. This can reassure them of your love and strengthen your connection. Besides, who said that movie night needed to be with another human?

  • 10.Adventure Outings

Bring excitement into your pet’s life with outings to new environments like parks or pet-friendly cafes. For dogs especially, new bark parks are popping up all over the U.S. These adventures and the opportunity to roam free off-leash can help build trust and confidence in your relationship.

  • 11.Scheduled Playdates

Organize playdates with other pets. It’s a fantastic way for them to socialize and have fun, and it’s also enjoyable for you to watch your pet making friends and playing happily. Schedule a play day at your local pet daycare if you don’t have friends or family members with pets. This will allow dogs to run and play all day, burning off excess energy.

Enjoy the Benefits of Your Growing Bond With Your Pet

While you don’t need to do everything on our list of tips and tricks to grow your bond with your pet, we certainly encourage you to try out a few. Doing so will be sure to pay off in leaps and bounds. Before long, you and your pet will have an unbreakable bond, and you won’t be able to imagine a life without them. Here’s to fun bonding and increasing their happiness—and yours, too!

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