Staying Healthy In 2020. But, What About Your Pet?
Your dog looks at you with those puppy eyes after you just put away your yoga mat. You feel bad, but you reason with yourself that you’ll go for a run with him tomorrow instead.
So you go about your day. You drive to the office. Then meet friends after work.
Then it happens.
You step into your apartment and you’re greeted with your dog nervously wagging his tail. Surprised by the mess everywhere, you stop in your tracks.
What do you see?
Your dog has chewed the leather sofa! Upon further inspection, it looks as though he was the life of the party in the kitchen too.
You’re at your wits end and you—only for a second—think about rehoming this little fluffy pup you once fell in love with. Suddenly the dog that was so cute and cuddly has turned your great mood from happy to bad at best.
You try not to freak out.
Don’t Freak Out. Your Dog Needs You.
To your pet, any attention is good attention.
So if they’re “bad” and you bark at them, they’re still getting attention from you. Meaning, even if they’re perfect angels all day or if they just destroyed your house two (2) minutes after you left home, now your attention is directed at them. Bingo! They won.
The attention category isn’t the same as it is for humans. For your pet, they can’t always tell the difference if attention is for a “good” reason or a “bad” reason. When they’re successful at capturing attention that they crave, they’re happy.
If it’s directed at them, it must be good. That’s why you need you to pay attention to them.
Your pet will often cower and cling next to you if you’re feeling sad or angry. Often times, they will roll over—belly up in submission, as puppies do with littermates when they try and establish who’s alpha in their pack.
Yes, your pet might not know the exact reason for your mood, but they can sense your energy. They want to please you. You need to show them how. And they might go to extremes to tell you that they want your attention.
It’s important to know their signs and get ahead of any unhealthy behaviors that may develop due to boredom and/or a lack of energy outlet.
You must pay attention to your pets for them to stay happy and healthy. Here are a few ways to keep your pet mentally and physically stimulated.
Your Dog Wants To Please You, Show Him How.
1. Take Simple Walks
Everyone needs a little fresh air, including our pets. A brisk stroll around the block can help.
Often times we think we have to walk our dogs for hours at a time. However, mini activity bouts can help expend your pet’s energy and perception of the world. Depending upon the size, breed, or energy level of your pet, taking two (2), ten (10) minute “sniff and walk” sessions per day might be sufficient.
Humans have many things to keep them occupied; social activities, work, hobbies, family, friends—your pets only have YOU. Planning a simple walk once in the morning, and again in the evening—with a play session in between—keeps them fresh and frisky.
2. Exercise And Play, Together
Make time to play with your pet. Whatever it takes, make time.
No matter how busy we are—if we care for pets—they deserve playtime and healthy exercise.
BEFORE STARTING A NEW EXERCISE PROTOCOL OR LEARNING TRICKS:
- Check with your Veterinarian and get medical clearance first
- Watch out for excessive signs of exhaustion or boredom
- Check for any systems of illness, especially in mature pets
- Conduct age appropriate activity sessions
- Keep learning new tricks simple
- Avoid long durations of training sessions
- Have fun with your pet more often
Dogs must be dogs. Let them.
Active dog breeds require even more “good” attention. They want to run, skip, and jump—they live in the moment and they yearn for FUN. If they know you’re participating in this essential play part of their life, your bond will become stronger and they’re more apt to be content when you do need to leave the house.
A good fifteen (15) minutes of all out play is vital in keeping your pet happy and healthy. Get on the floor, on all fours, and let the action begin—you’ll make their day!
Besides, your pet will like you better if you’re more playful with them. If your scolding them all the time, they’ll start to lose faith in your friendship. They need you as their provider, protector—and playmate.
Any hey, you might even enjoy that time to be a “Goof” too.
“Fitness can play a huge role in both person and pooch living longer, happier and healthier lives. In fact, people with dogs exercise 34% more than those without a dog.” — K9 Fit Club
Not quite in the shape yourself?
There are several activity options like one-to-one day care, personal dog training, pet sitters, and dog joggers available. Many pet parents benefit from unique offerings such as having someone else run their dog.
If all this pet industry activity sounds crazy, you may want to take a second look into just how many options there are in keeping a happy and healthy pet.
A variety of extra activity for your pet can supplement times when you just can’t be with your fur family. Nobody has 24/7—100% extra time to play with their pet, but finding ways to keep them happy and healthy is way worth the investment.
A balance of activity and rest in between play sessions is important too.
“My time is limited but I love my boy! Having someone to exercise with my dog is a treat for both me and my pooch. I’m busy and unable to move around with my dog like I’d like to.” —Susan M.
With more excitement besides tossing the ball out in the backyard and telling him to fetch, extra pet activity may even strengthen the bond you have with your fur family member. Your pet will have more experiences to share with you and can better appreciate you when you are around.
3. Enroll In Dog Camp
Your pet needs the chance to be their own dog.
Why not give them the opportunity to make furry friends too? Let them be with other dogs and pet lovers. They might enjoy the new sights, smells, and toys. Take your pet to a trusted spot where they can interact and play in a safe, temperature controlled, size appropriate environment.
“Some dog care places go overboard with play time. A tired dog is not always a happy dog. A dog should be mentally and physically stimulated, but by no means to the point of exhaustion. Being absolutely depleted is not healthy for anyone.” —Luke P.
Your pet wants to play and party. Let them have fun. Allow them to dance a bit, attend silly puppy parties, and get their picture taken. They’ll love the attention! You don’t have to have other people take care of your dog every day out of the week, but even a few times a month can help expend their energy and peak their curiosity.
Socializing with other pets and humans can help keep them content. Attending puppy parties may be something different for your dog.
To your pet, the four (4) walls in your apartment may be closing in. And, an occasional peek out the window is quite frankly, not enough. Surrounding your dog with other pets, people, and places can be an ideal way for your dog to explore the world—outside of the one they share with you.
On a budget? Did you know there ARE economical ways to keep your dog active and healthy, especially during the winter months. Starting in January, 2020, Best Friends Pet Hotel is offering something new at MOST of their pet hotels. $10 Doggy Day Camp, weekends ONLY—Saturday and Sundays, starting at 9am.
Many pet parents benefit from a weekend of Doggy Day Camp. It’s a great option if you have to run errands for a few hours or need to prepare your house for out of town guests.
Never tried a dog camp before? Be discerning with where you take your pet.
A reputable pet hotel will make pet safety their #1 priority. They’ll hire qualified pet professionals and top leadership who thoroughly understand pet health and happiness. Look for quality and long standing tradition when it comes to pet hospitality.
WOW! First Camp day FREE after successful evaluation.
Most notable, your dog will need to be properly vaccinated and must pass an introductory interview to ensure their safety and the safety of the dogs around them. This required procedure is normal and vital for your pet’s health and well-being. Therefore, wise pet owners welcome the extra precautions and follow careful steps to ensure that their precious pup is happy and healthy.
4. Puppy School During Dog Years
Don’t believe it when people tell you that they can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Your pet may not learn the same as when they were puppies, but they’re still your fur babies. If you work with them more often—during every stage of their life cycle—you’ll both have fun and get more enjoyment out of pet ownership.
In fact, try out different training options around town. Learn from all professional Trainers. Every one of them has something to offer. A positive tip for you and your pet is always a beneficial take-away.
Already graduated from puppy school? Well, if people should never stop learning new things, why should your pet?
“One way to bond with your pet is to spend time with them in training classes—even throughout their adult stages. Refresher training and learning new tricks can be an amusing way to have fun for both of you. Enjoy your dog more often. It strengthens your bond.” —Chris B.
Keep Your Pet Healthy in 2020. Get Active!
Finding time and unique ways to exercise with your pooch is not easy. But, your pet is worth it! Keeping them safe, healthy, and happy is why you got them in the first place. You love them and you want to care for their needs and well-being—for their entire life span.
Greater care for your pet means getting help and keeping your pet physically and mentally occupied—all year round. Healthy activity will keep your pet happy and out of trouble. In the process, you might find it’ll provide that special bonding time they need.
About The Author:
Christine A. Bournias resides in Michigan with her 2-pack; two new beautiful adopted miracles. As her “Angelwriter”, Nicodemus (1997-2010) is the wisdom behind the stories she shares. Christine champions the magnitude of building the bond between a dog and their person(s) by means of respectful communication and enduring admiration.