People are increasingly treating their pets as humans and understandably so, as we see them as members of the family and we appreciate the incredible health and happiness benefits they provide. In fact, one study found that pets helped reduce stress and often comfort us even more than our friends and spouses are able to.

January can seem very gloomy after the fun of festivities and is over. The holiday lights and decorations are taken down so that there is nothing to brighten the grey, dark weather and it is time to go back to work.

Spending time with our pets is just what we need to beat the January blues, as pets are known to reduce negativity.

Pets enrich our lives by:

  • Keeping us healthy
  • Lowering blood pressure and stress
  • Improving our self-esteem
  • Lowering the likelihood of obesity
  • Lowering cholesterol levels
  • Providing us with a sense of belonging
  • Increasing our social circle – pets draw people to us
  • Reducing loneliness

Pets also benefit from our attention, as much as we enjoy giving it. Pet owners are becoming increasingly aware of the needs of their pets and so they are spending more time contributing to their nutritional and psychological needs.

Unique ways in which you can spoil your pet and brighten your day

There are many ways you can treat your pet as a reward for all they bring to your life:

A vacation in a pet-friendly hotel

One of the first things many people do after the holidays is to book a vacation. Thoughts turn to summer weather and the next break from work. However, if leaving your pet at home makes you feel sad and anxious, why not take them with you?

Simply search online for ‘pet hotels’ and you will find a multitude to choose from. Pet-friendly hotels offer complimentary amenities for your pet, dog-walking, pet nannies, grooming and a free reign on the hotel grounds.

The Best Western hotel chain has won awards for its pet friendliness across the globe, with a choice of comfy dog beds as well as a menu just for dogs (how about ‘leash and potato soup’ and ‘poop a scoop of ice cream’?).

The Monkbar hotel in York the UK offers different walks for dogs depending on whether their legs are short, medium or long!

Classes

Man Training a Bulldog

Take up a local class with your pet. It will get you both out and making new friends and some classes will be beneficial to your own health too.

Studies show that exercise is beneficial in lifting mild depression. How about dog yoga, dog walking groups, or even dog surfing in California?

Homemade treats

What could be better than curling up in front of the fire with some feel-good comfort food to keep those January blues at bay? We are sure your pet feels the same! There are loads of pet-friendly recipes out there to experiment with, but if cooking isn’t your thing, your pet won’t know the difference between homemade and a delicious treat from a pet store.

Try incorporating mood-boosting foods into your food and your pet’s food. Oily fish, nuts, and flaxseed oil are all good sources of omega-3 fatty acids which block cytokine – which can cause a low mood. Always check the ingredients with a animal care professional before trying something new.

A spa day

Black dog getting a bath

There are so many pet pampering places out there, so check out what is on offer in your local area. From grooming parlors to hydrotherapy treatments designed to treat arthritis and obesity and to help improve stamina, you’ll find something to suit your pet.

If the weather is too bad to venture out, create a spa day in your own home and DIY, or hire people to come to you.

Try to factor in a daily grooming routine as it is a great way to bond and will be therapeutic for you too.

Massage can help relax your pet, soothe a timid animal, or help with recovery. Stroking an animal is also proven to lower the human blood pressure, which will benefit both pet and owner.

Gifts

It’s heartwarming to see a gift that you have given being enjoyed and many of the gifts out there are not only fun for your pet, they also look good in your home – a great way of refreshing your home interior for the new year. From designer items to bargains, it’s retail therapy!

Dog snuggled in a dog bed

Here are some ideas:

  • A new pet bed – indulge in a designer bed that looks good in your home and is extra cozy for your pet
  • A pet teepee – fun for your pet and on-trend in the home and on Instagram
  • Dog or cat clothes – how about a Buckingham Palace tartan?
  • A new treat jar in a designer ceramic so that you don’t have to hide it away
  • An entertaining hamster cage – check out the circus-themed cages!
  • The latest designer dog or cat collar

Try out all the items above and you can buck the trend for the January blues. With a pet by your side, you can enjoy the month as much as any other!