National Pet Month!

5 wallet-friendly ways to enjoy your pet

As a pet owner, it gives me great pleasure to inform you that it’s National Pet Month! This event celebrates our relationships with our furry (or not so furry) friends, and provides education and resources for experienced and new pet owners alike. National Pet Month runs from 1st April – 3rd May and is packed to the brim of useful and fundraising ideas to help some of the UK’s fantastic pet welfare charities. For more information, click National Pet Month – promoting responsible pet ownership across the UK

I thought I would use this opportunity to share with you some of the ways I enjoy my four legged friend Wilf, without breaking the bank –

Romanian Rescue Wilf and his best friend Dobby!

1) Give him a culinary treat!

This is something Wilf absolutely adores, and we make something especially for him most weeks. My favourite thing to make are frozen apple treats, as Wilf loves them, and they involve little to no cooking – a big plus for me! All you need are a couple of apples, some plain yoghurt and water. All things we would usually have in the house all the time. Super easy to make and will result in several minutes of very happy chomping and chewing. DIY Frozen Apple Dog Treat Recipe – Irresistible Pets

2) Get your hearts pumping

Any respectable dog owner knows how important it is to give your dog regular exercise. We walk Wilf twice a day usually, but if we can we sneak in a cheeky third. Going for a walk with your dog not only gets both of your hearts pumping, giving us some of the exercise we have been telling ourselves we will do ever since New Years Eve 1990, but it’s also completely and utterly free! We like to keep things interesting for Wilf by changing our route, going somewhere new, or bringing one of his toys along for the trip. To find out how much exercise your dog needs, please visit – How much exercise does your dog need? – PDSA

3) Pound stores are your pals

Until we rescued Wilf, I had no idea how many toys there are designed just for dogs. The amount of choice is simply staggering. However, we have never had to spend more than £2 to keep him entertained at home. Many pound stores across the country carry a selection of dog toys for as little as £1. Ropes, balls, frisbees, floating toys – the list truly is endless. It is important to note that any toy can be dangerous if it has sharp edges, or if your dog swallows it. If your dog toy is looking worn or damaged, throw it in the bin – it’s not worth the risk. Especially when you can replace it easily with something equally stimulating for £1!

4) Train your pooch

This is another thing we love doing with Wilf and costs us absolutely nothing. You do not need to fork out for an expensive trainer, or enrol your dog into courses (yes, that’s a real thing!) to teach them a few tricks. Indeed, dogs are remarkably intelligent, and the mental stimulation that training provides means they are exercising their grey matter whilst having fun. Wilf can now say hello with a shake of his paw and can recognise his favourite toys by name. We have now moved on to training him to bring my slippers in the morning. All the training we have done has been based on positive reinforcement, usually a combination of treats and cuddles. If only he could boil the kettle. To find out more about positive reinforcement, please visit Training with positive reinforcement | Training | Dogs Trust | Dogs Trust

5) Ice Ice Baby

Wilf is a big fan of anything cold and was simply ecstatic when we introduced him to ice. We now regularly freeze his toys or certain treats in big blocks of ice by filling a container with water and putting it in the freezer. He especially enjoys this when the weather is hot and can keep him entertained for hours. Again – toys, water and a freezer are things you always have in the house and will only cost you 10 mins of your time to give your poochy pal a fun afternoon.

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