By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — What is the best way to build a strong relationship? You work at it, both sides are work at it. In this week’s CBS3 Pet Project animal advocate Carol Erickson shared some ideas on ways you can bond with your pet that will really make you have a relationship.

Erickson says in Germany they are about to debate a law that would require that every dog owner in Germany walk their dogs twice a day for a minimum of a total of an hour a day of walking.

That’s not just to make sure people are getting their dogs the proper exercise but also to cut down on puppy mills over in Germany because that’s a huge problem there as it is here in the United States.

“It would certainly make sure that those kennelled dogs who are forced to breed and rebreed, make it a big hassle for those people over there in Germany to take care of those dogs and maybe stop some of the puppy mills because we would never want to see a dog in a puppy mill,” Erickson said.

Some ways you can bond with your pet is by playing with them.

Now, you play the games the dog likes to play, not necessarily just you telling them to sit and stay and that sort of thing but you play what they want to do.

So maybe it’s a retrieval game, maybe it’s just taking them out for a walk and a good long sniff where they want to sniff or even digging in a sandbox. Make sure that they associate you with very pleasant things.

Also, snuggling is another way to bond because when your dog or your cat looks at you and you get that look at one another’s eyes, that releases oxytocin in both parties and that’s a feel-good.

So if you snuggle with your dog, pet your dog and spend some quality quiet time together you’re absolutely going to love it.

Also, empower your dog and make sure that your dog gets a little bit of something that they want to do, maybe they get to go to the left versus the right when you go on a walk, that they have a choice or two.

Erickson says otherwise, they’re constantly being told what to do.

Also, you need to advocate for your animal, give them a predictable routine, keep them out of stressful situations.

“Every day is a day in their life, too, and you don’t want to waste it by them sitting around and waiting for you to decide to do something, get up,” Erickson said. “Move around, make sure their day is something they want to do as well and that is really going to help them”

You don’t want to waste a dog’s day, a cat’s day, or your own day.

So, do something great for everybody.

Watch the video to see more from this week’s segment.

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