According to The Book of Times: From Seconds to Centuries, a Compendium of Measures, a new book by Leslie Alderman, the average pet owner spends just about 40 minutes with their pet each day. While the amount of money spent on pets has increased significantly over the past decade, from $28.5 billion in 2001 to $53 million in 2012, the amount of time we spend with our pets has remained around 40 minutes for the last several years.
The Mother Nature Network has suggested some simple ways to sneak in extra time with your favorite fluffy, feathered or furry pet that include:
Capture the little moments. You can show your pet some love while still getting things done, for example by talking to your pet while completing chores around the house. It doesn’t matter what you talk about, just be sure to look in his or her eyes and let them know that they have your attention. You can also use your evening TV/relaxation time to brush your dog or let your cat snuggle on your lap, even while reading to the kids, for example.
Practice makes perfect. If you find yourself too busy to toss a ball in the backyard, you can still give your dog some attention by multitasking while making dinner, folding laundry or doing paperwork to help your pet practice his/her obedience skills – assuming they have some skills to practice in the first place! He/She can practice sit-stays, lay-down-stays, and even fetching a rolling ball if these are skills you’ve worked on before. Keep the sessions easy and light – just enough for a skills refresher and some always appreciated attention.
Let her/him tag-along. If your dog or cat enjoys a change of scenery, consider taking them along in the car or on a walk the next time you have to run a few quick errands. Just be sure that your errands won’t leave your pet behind in the car for an extended period in the heat or cold.
We know that pets thrive from the attention of their owners and study after study has found that time spent with pets equates to better health for people too, so be sure to make the time!