How to engage with your dog when you just don’t have the time.
It’s been a while since I’ve written an article. I’ve just been so busy. So much so that it got to the point where I felt I was giving so much to others and their dogs that I was neglecting my own. And I know I’m not alone – with so many commitments within our daily lives, we sometimes forget the little things with our dogs are big things to them.
We love our dogs, right? We spend our time, money and energy making their lives more comfortable, healthy and enjoyable. Here’s some tips to take their quality of life to the next level, even when you’re busy:
We are committed to taking our dogs for walks as often as possible. To make it a more rewarding experience for your doggo, mix it up – the route, the pace, the time of day. To really change it up, stop during your walk for a play, and extra-sensory explosion of a sniffari or a game – with you (hide and seek is a fun one). For dogs with limited mobility, a shorter distance or slower pace can help keep them limber and comfortable without excess impact on their body.
Keep in mind though, not all dogs enjoy a walk. For some dogs a walk is a really scary experience, for these dogs, try the sniffari, play and games in your front yard or at a friend’s house. You can use these tips with dogs who are struggling with their mobility too.
Hang out together
We all know dogs are social creatures and boredom can bring out some undesirable behaviour in dogs. Include them in your daily routines, chat to them while you’re going about your housework, have a little play after hanging out the washing, set up a comfy spot for them near your workspace and give them a pat with your foot while you work. My two love to hang out in the front yard while I’m doing a spot of gardening.
I have several of little treat pots around the house. As I go about my day, I will often stop what I’m doing and have a little training session – nose touches, sit/drop/stay or handshakes.
Talk to him
Like I mentioned above, chatting to them as you go about your day increases their energy and happiness. Don’t forget the rewards! Even if you don’t want to use food or treats – a happy voice and a quick ear or tummy scratch (or both!) will make their day!
This is a bit of a silly one, but one I love to do in my down time. Whenever I roll out the yoga mat for some stretching, my doggies take it as their cue to jump all over me, lick my face (and ears!). I can’t help but laugh and we all get a buzz from the game.
Ok, I’m biased, but I truly believe the benefits of a massage for just about any dog’s wellbeing. If you’re not sure how to give one at home, just give a good pat in the way your dog likes it. It’s true, some dogs don’t like a pat, but love a good vigorous scratch or allow belly rubs only. Incorporate what you can to create a massage that your dog will not only allow, but love.