Celebrating National Love Your Pet Day

February 20 is National Love Your Pet Day! For the holiday, we’ve collected students’ photos of their dogs, cats, reptiles, horses, and other pets to share with you, and we asked some of these pet owners what they love most about their pet.

“I love that they are willing to work hard and learn more from their owners,” said Christina Leland, in reference to her family’s horses Zorro and Lady. Leland also says one of her favorite things to do with her horses is go for rides.

“My favorite thing about my turtles [Guy and Spanky] is that they’re so cute and also very low maintenance. My favorite thing to do with them is to watch them get super excited when I feed them, and their favorite thing to do is eat frozen shrimps!,” said Peter Albert, a student here at WCC.

“Milly has the softest fur,” says Annette Townsend, writer and editor for the Horizon, about her cherished cat. “She always wants to sit on me when she thinks I’m not doing anything, aka homework, and ends up curled up on the desk between me and the keyboard. This is good though, because her loud purring is relaxing. When I am feeling stressed or need a break, she’s always up for a good cuddle.”

Even if you don’t own a horse, or a turtle, or a cat, you can show appreciation for your pet in many different ways, including giving them belly rubs, feeding them their favorite treat, and especially being aware of their emotional and physical health. Just like with humans, pets can develop behavioral and emotional disorders and issues, including anxiety and depression, when they’re not properly cared for.

“There are many benefits of enrichment, including improving pets’ quality of life. Enrichment can prevent unwanted behaviors such as excessive vocalization, to destructive behaviors including destroying furniture. Incorporating social enrichment early on can help the pet learn social etiquette with other dogs such as knowing when another dog wants to play, and when to give them space if they do not. Physical enrichment can prevent destructive behaviors and also maximize their body condition and joint function,” says Bronwyn Bailey, a second-year Veterinary Nursing and Companion Animal Behavior student at the University of Bristol.

This National Love Your Pet Day, treat your dog to a delicious treat or buy your goldfish a new aquarium toy. Whatever you do to celebrate this day, just remember to take care of your pet and yourself.

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