Everyone needs to know how to be nice to their own pets! Here are a few tips to being nice to your pets and other animals.
Groom your rabbit, dog or cat a lot. Many pets love to be groomed and scratched, but if they do not like it, don't do it; that will just make them hate you.
Feed them not too little, but not too much either. You have to distinguish between the times they're genuinely hungry and the times they're just trying to get food.
Clean their food and drink bowls at least once a day. It's the same as with us. You wouldn't eat out of the same plate for one whole week, and you wouldn't drink out of the same glass, cup, or mug for a month!
Give your pets attention. Pets want as much of your attention as possible, dogs especially, however, this attention should be on your terms. In general, acknowledge your pet's existence; even saying "Hi <pet name>, how are you doing?" Clearly they won't understand what you're saying, but at least it shows that you see them.
Take dogs on walks. Most dogs don't like being holed up in a house or in the same backyard all day long; they like to get out and explore. They can also meet other dogs this way; if you only saw other people when you went on walks, wouldn't you enjoy them too?
Physical contact is very important to the socialization of animals and makes them much more friendly. Play with your pet, stroke them or just sit on the grass and goof around.
Never treat a dog like a child. A dog is an animal and needs leadership. Don't pander to insecurity, instead be strong and lead by example.
Do not do anything to hurt it such as kicking or hitting it! That will only make your pet hate you!
Take it to the vet regularly. Your pet may not like it, but in the end, it's better to cause a bit of discomfort now than to find out later that it has a bad case of worms that could have been stopped awhile ago. Reward it once in a while.
You are the pet's boss. Don't terrorize it by tugging on its leash, slapping him as a punishment, etc. But make sure you don't let it get away with everything.
Do not become impatient with your pet. They can't understand you verbally.
Be sure you don't have anything on your fingers that will bother your pet while petting it.
Your tone of voice has a lot to do with how your pet will react. Saying "I love you, you're the best pet in the world!" in a tone that implies you hate it won't exactly convey your message.
Remember that animals connect unpleasant experiences with the place they experienced them at. If you had to take your dog to the hospital for surgery several times, he might be afraid of riding in cars because he remembers car trips as the beginning of a painful process (having surgery). If this is the case, try to carefully take your pet to the place it is traumatized with for a short period of time, and reward it. In the example with the dog, take very short car rides that lead somewhere pleasant until your dog realizes that not all car rides end at the hospital.
Your pet sometimes just wants attention. Make sure you feed it and give it water, but also give him/her lots of love and attention.
If your pet doesn't like what you are doing to it, then stop right away! However, there are exceptions; if you're doing it for its own good, like giving it a bath, continue doing it, but soothe them as much as you can.