Occasional one-on-one time with each pet is vital for your bond with your dog, cat, bird, etc, when you have multiple pets in your home. In a perfect world, you would be able to divide your time evenly between each pet as well as enjoy time with the whole animal family. But we humans are busy. It can be difficult to fit in the individual time that our dogs, cats, birds, etc, want and need. While Jason and I both wish we could spend more one-on-one time every day with each of our pets, here are some way we do fit in special, individual time when we can:
- Walks: Take each pet for separate walks. It's wonderful bonding time for your pets and more exercise for you!
- Car rides: Even a simple ride in the car with you and you alone can be special one-on-one bonding time for a pet and a human.
- Mealtimes: Plan time with each pet at different meals throughout the day, week and month. Your pet is likely very grateful for their meal and if you spend alone time with them while they eat, it will make the meal that much more special.
- Grooming: While not all pets enjoy getting brushed and having their nails trimmed, grooming time is still an opportunity for one-on-one time with each pet. Spend a little time before and after grooming playing with or massaging you pet and your bond is sure to grow.
- Tag along: Not many work places allow three or four pets to come to work with you, but some allow one. Take turns rotating which dog comes with you to work if and when it fits your schedule. Maybe you can bring one of your dogs along on an errand to the pet store or the hardware store? Giving each pet a chance to go out with just you, even just once a month or supplies, will be a treat for both of you.
- Play dates: Wilhelm, Brychwyn, Huxley, Leo and Amelia have a lot of special human and animal friends. They are almost always all invited over when we schedule play dates. However, I sometimes decline invitations for all the pets to visit and take the opportunity for on pet to have special time with a friend and me. Want to make new animal and human friends? There are plenty of dog breed, training and enthusiast clubs as well as groups for cat, bird and other exotic pets and their owners to connect.
- Train: there is no better way to get fantastic bonding time with each pet than to schedule training time. Sign up for a series of classes with each pet in basic obedience or a special sport your dog would enjoy like nose work, flyball, agility or heel work to music. Even just ten minutes per day, per pet, can make a wonderful impact on your relationship with your dog, cat, bird or any other pet. Making time to train multiple pets isn't always easy- just three pets means over thirty minutes of training. But if you cut back on screen time or social time just a little, time with each pet is guaranteed to be worth it. If you need tips and help to keep training from getting boring, be sure to check out our Positive Pet Training Blog Hop on the first Monday of each month.
Whatever you do, remember that one pet doesn't need all of your time. They'll likely want to get back to hanging out with the rest of their animal family. But your dog, cat, bird, other exotic or pet does need your full and undivided attention.* No matter what you find time to do for alone time with each pet, your pet will appreciate your focused attention. Just like for humans, a direct smile and specific kind words can mean the world to each of your pets in your busy house full of animals.