Did you know? Taking your dog to the park brings on more than good karma, it’s good self-care as well.
Dog walks are so much more than just mental stimulation, essential fun and important exercise for your doggie. Mindful dog walks are good for you, too, improving your own health and productivity.
Certified UK animal behaviourist, Caroline Wilkinson, founder of Barket Place online dog training, wants to help you enjoy dog walks and runs more.
Try these tips to make your next dog walk more enjoyable (by Pick Me Up Magazine):
- Put the phone away and leave it there so that you’re more attentive to yourself and to your dog during the walk.
- With that in mind, it’s important to make the walk, not the arrival, the adventure. Change the route (if it’s safe), or alternate your pace, and intersperse with an engaging dog-human game or two. Tug of war is a fun one.
- Make time for fun and games. Try to focus on your dog’s nose. Engaging your pooch’s sense of smell is endlessly entertaining for him or her. It’s good to balance this with the usual ball games to keep things interesting.
- Get moving with your mutt. You might not feel like it, but if you’re in good health, gentle exercise is awesome for your body and mind. Start with a brisk walk, speed up to a jog if you’ve got the energy, and focus on regulating and deepening your breath (can be tricky at first) if you’re not that fit. It will get easier the more you repeat it. And remember, regular stops to bend and cuddle in between can strengthen your bond with your dog as well as give you both a breather.
We also think:
- Bad weather can be good (as long as you have a cleaning station before the car and at home), so winter is an amazing time to get some hound-affirming and body toning outdoor exercise (and not get sweaty or sunburnt).
- It’s always wise to carefully protect wildlife. That includes squirrels, rabbits, birds and baboons (which are protected by law). If your dog doesn’t obey your request to ‘sit’ and ‘stay’, consider taking him or her to doggy school for a bit of training.
- And please remember that excited dogs can jump out of car windows, so keep your pooch on a seatbelt leash that will not reach the window, or in a suitable and approved pet carrier. It can’t hurt to keep the window cranked open for that wet nose.
A final tip for you both from the expert? “Walking helps boost productivity (as well as many health benefits),” says Caroline, “so it can be worth scheduling your dog walks for the times of day you tend to feel the least energised.”
Here’s to your ‘ulti-mutt’ dog walk!
Take good karma up another notch and be kind to your pocket as well – quote and buy dotsure.co.za pet insurance for your furry one so you won’t have to fear the odd or unexpected vet bills.