It's not an accident that dogs are called man's best friend or that cats are featured prominently at the sides of kings and pharaohs. For thousands of years, these animals have slowly evolved into the domesticated family members we know and love. But buried deep in their DNA are the memories of those wilder times.
We have a few tricks to try when it comes to helping dogs and cats act like the wild animals they once were.
Our four-legged friends may not live in the wilderness anymore, but there is nothing wrong with helping them tap into those long forgotten basic instincts by giving them a taste of their ancestral heritage. If these popular videos are any indication, you can take your pet out of the wild, but it is hard to take the wild completely out of your pet.
Pack Animal Behavior
Before they became side-kicks to man, dogs ran with a wild crowd. Whether you have a small dog with a big bark or a giant fraidy cat, a trip to the dog park can be just the ticket to helping them remember their former group mentality. Play-dates at the park really let domesticated dogs get a sense of the pack life their ancestors experienced in the wild.
Food never came in a bowl in the wild. Letting them play with toys that fly or scurry taps into those basic hunter's instincts. Anything that looks like it is flying or in the least bit fighting back gets their hunter's blood going. Try giving pets, like cats, a chance to think they are stalking and hunting prey and you are bound to see their inner scavenger run free.
Just like meal time for humans, these domesticated animals have gotten away from the natural food their ancient four-legged fathers would stalk and eat. Now leaving Fido or Kitty to their own devices in the wild is not an option, but some companies are adding real meat to their meals. These diets are high protein and no-grain kibble with freeze-dried raw pieces mixed into the food.
Speaking of smells, let’s face it, the wild outdoors is a smelly, smelly place and our homes? Not so much. Grab some of those treat dispensing toys that let you stuff gooey goodness inside. Then let your pets use their natural smelling instincts to sniff out the source and then pounce on it. Any pet lover knows the smellier it is, the more a pet will want to get their paws all over it.