Dogs are amazing creatures and their health depends on many factors, just like yours and mine. The difference is that you control your own destiny, but your dog … not so much. We choose what they eat and when they eat it. We choose the type of exercise they get and how they get it. We even choose where they go and how they get there. They depend on us to make healthy and positive choices for them so they can live long, happy lives.
Of course, dogs do have some say and certainly know how to influence us to get what they want. Like when they pick up a toy and show it to you, shove it in your face, sit on your head, and nudge you until you pay attention. Or when they sit there to watch you eat a sandwich, and to avoid a flood in the kitchen you give them a piece of the crust. Yes, they can be very convincing sometimes; however, we are the guiding force that watches over them and it’s on us to ensure they are moving in the right direction.
One of the most beneficial things we can do for our dogs is to make sure they get plenty of exercise. This is great because you and I need exercise, too. (This is how 6 Hairy Legs came to be; we wanted to provide a way for you to get and stay active with your dog, while incorporating some basic obedience training into your daily workout.) When choosing the type of exercise there are a few factors to take into account:
- Time: Quite often the biggest excuse not to work out, but your health and wellness require strong Body and Mind. Making the time is important, so make it a part of your daily routine. We all have time … until we don’t!
- Place: Finding the right space to exercise is essential for a positive experience. Workout where you are comfortable, but make sure you have access to everything you need.
- Type: You may like doing certain things more than your dog, and vice versa.
Think of life as a dance; a wonderful beautiful world filled with creative movement, inspiring music, and perpetual motion. Your life is the perfect place to get and stay active. Take for example your morning routine. You wake up, let the dog out, get everyone up and ready for the day, take a shower, and head to work (or some version of this example). That seems a lot like work. Try taking this time to set a more positive and uplifting tone for the day:
- Start your morning out right…Streeetch! Your dog knows this one. It’s the first thing they do after waking up, so stretch together to wake up the body and mind, before moving to the coffee pot. I cannot think of a better way to start my morning than connecting with my dog (psst… it only took 30-40 seconds, who knew it could be so simple and quick).
- Take a 5-10-minute skip, gallop, or playful run to the end of the street. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “what will the neighbors think if they see me skipping down the road at 5 am?” WHO CARES! What’s more important: the health and well-being of you and your dog, or your neighborhood “coolness” factor? Besides, you’ll most likely come across as way more interesting when they see you galloping down the street every day.
Voila! Look what you accomplished in just 5-10 minutes. You’ve stretched and now your blood is flowing a little quicker than before. Now the shower will feel even more invigorating and your dog is super happy. You can head to work with a little more pep in your step and a more content pup at home.
For more information on how to get and stay active with your dog, visit 6 Hairy Legs at www.6hairylegs.com or follow them on Facebook. 6 Hairy Legs provides safe, fun, and healthy activities that encourage a more active canine and human relationships while improving the quality of life for both dogs and the people who love them. They do this through a variety of online courses and local community workshops in and around the Greater Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill area.www.toplinek9obedience.com