Your pet lives with you in your human world. Because of that you, as a responsible guardian to your pet, are accountable for helping your pet adjust to your human world AND for integrating a portion of the animal-world into your life. It’s a mistake that many pet guardian’s make: rather than looking at life from the animal’s perspective, they cater to their animal’s every anticipated need, as if the animal were a human. They provide lush beds, the best food, great toys, windows etc-but something is still missing!
The animals that I have worked have thrived when some aspects of their natural world are integrated into their current life. They want access to the outdoors. They want stimulation-they want to catch things, they want to hunt, stalk, fight, roll around, wrestle, swim far distances, fly, choose their mates and more.
Take some time to evaluate your pet’s lifestyle. Have your brought enough nature into your home to create a suitable blending of the two lifestyles? Does she get enough exercise? Are you providing sufficient species-directed stimulation? For example, are you giving your hunting dog a way to exercise her hunting skills, other than through the food falling off the table? Have you set up your space so that your bird can fly-even a little bit?
Our pets, while adapting to the world of humans, also deserve to have their animal worlds honored. Love and affection are a beautiful beginning, but continuing to provide opportunities for your pets to exercise their animal instincts will also go a long way to creating a happy animal and a healthy human/animal relationship.