If there's one thing that's been a constant in our home lives over the past few months, it's been our pets. They've appeared in the background of Zoom calls, they've sat on computer keyboards while we've tried our best to work, and they've been dragged out on more government-approved walks than they can shake a stick at.
We might joke about the crazy antics of our cats, dogs and other furry friends, but the reality is that they really do become another member of the family. What's more, they have been a vital part of our lockdowns, with chief executive of Pets at Home Peter Pritchard recently telling the BBC that animals have proved to be "lifesavers" for many people struggling with coronavirus-related loneliness.
More than 'just animals'
According to the Blue Cross, around 44 per cent of UK households have pets of some sort, and they do more than provide companionship. Various studies have shown they can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, boost the feel-good hormone oxytocin and keep us fit as we run around after them.
"They are a non-judgemental shoulder to cry on. They never share our secrets, and bring us comfort when we need it the most. Pets can become our soulmates without uttering a single word," the Blue Cross points out in a really moving post on its website.
So, why not repay the favour and give them some extra care back this month. February 20th 2021 marks National Love Your Pet Day.
Fun things to do
Since it's a Saturday, you could show your cat, dog or guinea pig how much you appreciate them by playing with them, treating them to a special new toy, grooming them or simply providing extra snuggles during this wintry weather.
You could even give your pal a nice bath with some specially formulated pet shampoo, as it's a great bonding exercise (as well as helping to get rid of any strong whiffs they might have developed while cooped up this winter).
Speaking of which, we have the perfect solution here at Heyland & Whittle if you've been battling what we call 'eau de pet' lately. Our Home Solutions Collection features a dedicated pet lovers range with products blended from Bergamot and Fern, including a reed diffuser for long-lasting fragrance and a room spray for a quick blast of scent whenever you need it.
If you do mark this unofficial holiday, we'd love to see pictures. Why not take a quick snap and share it with us on our social media so we can appreciate your family friends too?
For all-round protection against pet smells, check out our complete pet lovers range here.