Make no bones about it, we have a lot of love for our four-legged friends, but the busyness of everyday life can often leave us wishing we had more time to show them just how much we care.

With #LoveYourPetDay coming up on February 20th, we started thinking about some of the small ways we can show our dogs even more affection, so we can nourish them as they nourish us.

Rather than compiling a list of random recommendations, we encourage you to think what really gets their tail wagging?

Every dog is different, so your efforts are much more likely to be appreciated by honing in on their personality and preferences. See some of our favourite suggestions from the Butcher’s team and our fans below.

dog walking in the woods

Every day is an adventure with a curious companion. But it’s easy to slip into a routine of the same old walking routes, especially when time is of the essence.

Shake things up a bit by dedicating more time to exploring new places with your four-legged friend. Whether it’s somewhere on your doorstep or you make a trip of it, adventurous dogs are sure to love the thrill of exploring somewhere new. Take a look at our recent blog post for dog-friendly walks across the UK for inspiration.

If their collar or lead could use a revamp, it could be a case of out with the old and in with the new, particularly when it comes to their safety. We recommend checking the condition of the rope or D rings every few months to ensure there are no loose links or the possibility of the lead suddenly snapping mid-walk from a strong pull.

We also advise checking your dog’s collar for a comfortable fit; especially in the case of growing dogs and those who like to get wet! Fraying, looseness and stretching of the eyelets increase the likelihood that your dog could break free, which is a less than ideal scenario even when in familiar surroundings. The general recommendation is that you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and neck and it should be a material that doesn’t cause your dog discomfort.

dog sleeping in his bed

There’s no shame in snoozing, and our four-legged friends would whole-heartedly agree. According to statistics, the average adult canine needs 12 – 14 hours sleep a day, while puppies and senior dogs require a little more, ranging from 15 – 18 hours. With that in mind, it’s also worth remembering that some dogs simply need more sleep than others due to their size and activity levels.

If your dog loves to chase the zzz’s, upgrading their bed could make for a treasured gift, especially if theirs is worn, misshapen and torn.

Consider if your dog enjoys being curled up in a neat little ball or sprawling out to stretch their legs after a long day? The size of their bed should allow them to do both, but the shape could depend on their sleeping preference. Oval beds with sides can help dogs to feel more snuggled and protected, whereas flatter mattress-style beds are more versatile for the dogs who like their space and a variety of sleeping positions. Regardless of the shape and size, their bed should be plush, comfortable and provide good padding from the floor.

It’s also important to think about where and how you’ll use the bed when selecting the material. Do you need it to be waterproof, lightweight or hard-wearing? Many owners choose to top their dogs’ beds with a favourite blanket, which can easily be cleaned and de-fluffed, but it’s also important that the bed itself can be washed when required.

butcher's lean and tasty dog food products

Nothing says ‘I love you’ like a lovingly prepared meal, and that’s exactly how we create each of our recipes. Not only do we include natural products, healthy superfoods and ensure the nutritional value is high, but from day one, we also run each new recipe through our Clean-Bowl Challenge.

Our Product and Process Technical Manager Robin Hone explains it as: “Did the dogs enjoy it? Did they eat it all? And were they chasing the bowl around the kitchen?” A great test that any dog owner will agree indicates how much their furry-friend enjoyed their food. Robin also adds: “You can make a recipe that helps joints, but it’s got to be something the dog loves to eat, too… We have a simple principle: we only sell food that our own dogs will eat!”

This #LoveYourPetDay could be the perfect opportunity to try a new flavour or two from our recipe collection. Be inspired and learn about the nutritional benefits of each recipe here

One of the qualities we admire most about our dogs is their ability to play care-free and appreciate the small things in life. As an owner, to see the joy that a new (or old favourite) toy brings is heart-warming.

However, above all, our absolute favourite way of showing our dogs that we care is by finding more time to cuddle and fuss over them. Whether it’s snuggles on the sofa, belly rubs, ear tickles, longer walks or more time playing, they’re sure to enjoy the extra quality time with their favourite human.

Connection is proven to deepen the bond between dogs and their owners, so the more they can associate feel-good activities with you, the stronger their affection is likely to be. Paying attention to their likes and dislikes and doing more things that bring them joy is a sure way to boost both of your moods and bring you closer together.

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