There are little things people can do to be better connected with their animals.
When you arrive home, I believe you should calmly acknowledge your animal. Stop for moment, breathe, glance the animal in the eye, and say, “Hello.” Upon departure you should seek your animal out and say, “Good-bye,” while picturing in your head the amount of time that will pass until you walk back in the door. Feeling the time pass in your body or picturing what the light outside will look like when you arrive home can show this.
It is important to notice how your pet eats his or her food. Does he chew on one side of his mouth (teeth problems), look away from it then come back to it (bad taste or stomach issues), inhale his food without swallowing (may cause stomachaches later), or eat in a relaxed manner (good consumption habit)?
You should arrange to observe your animal throughout a particular day. Tell her you are going to watch her that day to see if she is in any pain and to show you if she is. Watch for limping, holding up a back leg, or bunny-hopping when running; getting up stiffly, drinking lots of water, scratching a lot, straining when peeing, shaking a head with an ear infection. If you ask her to show you, she will. It is up to you to pay attention and make note of what a pet is showing you.
Here are my pets’ ideas on how to connect with animals better:
Joey (cat): “Walk slowly up to animals, be conscious of your body activity, look the animal in the eye, but don’t stare.”
Makia (cat): “Look to see if your animal’s eyes are dull and if he looks like he is frowning. He may have periods of the day where he is happy, but if he has some frowning moments (creases over eyes, looking down), he may not feel well and you should get a blood panel done. You can also sing to your animal. Animals love singing with their name in the song.”
Serafina (cat): “Tell your animal the most exciting thing about your day. You could tell about something you noticed, or something that you thought about all day. Explain it in detail. We like this because we already know, but your details help us figure out the whole story of your day.”
Bean (Bunny): “Feed only the best food and make sure your animal likes it. Pet your animal softly, with awareness, and think about how you smell. Bunnies don’t like strong smells (no perfume, nail polish, scented soap, other animals’ smells). Be clean.”
Stormy (Aussie dog): “Make sure your dog has an outing a day. The ones that can walk should walk, and the ones that are old should go in the car or walk around or lie in the front yard. No one likes to be bored.”
Maia (GSD/Wolf dog): “If your animal is having a hard time, help her. Lift the animal up onto the couch or bed. Tell her you love her and something you love about her. This is important. I am old and think about pain a lot, but when my mom thinks about what she loves about me I start to have more memories and they take me away for a while. When you pet your animal, watch to see where she flinches or stares at you. These are pain spots. Kiss your animal gently then move your head away. Believe that if you are clear, your animal can hear you.”