by Rupert Brown
The UK is a nation of animal lovers, with almost half of the population sharing their lives and homes with a cornucopia of mammals, birds and reptiles.
We buy pet insurance, pay exorbitant vet bills and purchase the best quality food. We groom them, exercise them in the rain, sing to them and pick up their mess. You wouldn’t do some of these things for another human being, but are rewarded with devotion, trust and hours of fun.
‘Pet power’ has real benefits to humans. Pet groups claim that contact with animals can reduce stress, help prevent allergies and illness, lower blood pressure and boost the chances of survival after a life threatening illness.
We love our pets and what better way to show it than splurging on the odd pet accessory here and there? Dressing pets can seem amusing, but animal clothes can prove practical in some cases. Raincoats for dogs are a good idea if you are on a long walk and the weather is damp and chilly. These garments are easy to put on your pet, with one zip they provide extra protection from the elements. You wrap up warm, so why shouldn’t Rover?
Or perhaps treat your cat to an indoor entertainment system? Incorporating a scratch post, toys and cat beds, these systems comprise multiple bases and poles which can be contracted in a number of configurations; providing your feline friend with hours of fun, stimulation and exercise.
If you don’t want to encourage your pets to sleep on the sofa, buy them a cat or dog bed. It’s hard to discipline your best friend; however, if they’ve got a nice bed to rest on, you won’t feel so guilty. All dog beds ought to be easy to clean, obviously, and ensure they are constructed of supportive and comfortable materials.
Some designs resemble chic sofas, upholstered in faux leather and ideal for the most discerning pet. Others come complete with a matching cushion and wouldn’t look out of place in an upmarket bistro or bar.
For sophisticated aquatics, why not treat your fish to a swanky tank which has day and night light settings? Furnish their underwater paradise with lots of plants, rocks and little models. The Spongebob Squarepants range is particularly entertaining. Watch as your fish swim to the Crusty Crab or play with Patrick the pink starfish.