(Family Features) Pets bring companionship, affection, and fun to the families who love them, which is why many pet owners strive to give their four-legged friends the best lives possible to help ensure they are happy and healthy. There are many ways to create a better way for your pet, including supporting local programs that enhance the lives of pets, ensuring you’re feeding your cat or dog the proper nutrition, and having fun together.
Help make life better for all pets – and the people who love them – by taking action in your local community. Here are some ways you can help out:
Volunteer with your pet
Consider becoming a pet therapy or visiting animal volunteer. Rehabilitation hospitals, nursing homes, schools and day cares often bring in animals to interact with others – benefitting both humans and the animals involved. Check with local organizations, or learn more from Pet Partners at www.deltasociety.org.
Hold a fundraiser
Nonprofit animal welfare organizations are almost always in need of help. Contact a local shelter or rescue in your community to inquire about the supplies they need most. Organize an event to help raise money by charging admission at a fun get-together for local dog owners, or by auctioning off items from shops in your community.
Share your ideas
Get involved with the Canyon Creek Ranch Better Way Project, a national program that is looking to help create a better way for pets and people who love them. You can share your idea for helping pets in your community – such as renovating animal shelters, supporting a local pet non-profit, or improving area parks – and Canyon Creek Ranch will use the ideas as inspiration for projects they will bring to life through funding, volunteers and other support. Learn more about the Canyon Creek Ranch Better Way Project and submit your ideas at www.CanyonCreekRanch.com/BetterWayProject.
Focus on Nutrition
Make sure you are feeding your dog or cat pet food that meets their nutritional needs. Check labels to ensure they are getting the proper nutrients for their life stage and the right amount of food. High-quality ingredients can provide nutritional benefits in pets of all ages.
Have Some Fun
Just like people, pets need physical and mental exercise. Here are some easy ways to help enrich your pet’s life by having fun:
Make a kitty obstacle course, either indoors or outside. Use boxes and sturdy containers to make a multi-level course for your cat. Rub the scent of some treats along the course and then hide the treat for your cat to find. It lets them use their powerful sense of smell, engages their minds, and gives them a little exercise, too.
Try new outdoor activities. For dogs, set up an agility course, take them swimming (or let them splash in a backyard kiddie pool), or play treasure hunt by hiding a treat and having them find it.
Letting dogs play off their leash in a fenced area with other dogs gives them physical exercise and lets them use their canine social skills. Cats also need companionship, including at least fifteen minutes of playtime a day and lots of snuggling.