Dogs belong in packs and when they are domesticated, they still look at their families as their ‘packs.’ They need to be social and they need attention. The way dogs have been domesticated has created a bit of a problem. Allowing your dog to spend time with other dogs is not satisfactory. They need time with their human friends. Sure, we have lives that are extremely busy, so it can be difficult to give our dogs as much attention as we need. As we rush around like maniacs trying to get important things done, trying to spend time with our dogs can feel like a burden.
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When you’re feeling like this, spending time with your dog sure can seem like more of a chore than having a relaxing, fun time with your four legged friend. Taking him/her for a walk can feel like a chore among a million chores that you have to accomplish. This definitely lessens the quality of the time you spend with your dog. It shouldn’t be this way but sometimes it seems like life has you by the collar!
The way that we live really does affect our dogs. For instance, if we are stressed out all the time, what kind of personal time we have, our general demeanors really have a lot to do with our dogs’ temperament. The dogs sometimes take on their human companions’ moods and feelings – to the point that if you’re depressed or stressed out all the time, your dog can be anxious and depressed as well. Ignoring you dog for long period of time can manifest in to separation anxiety in you beloved animal. Also, if we are busy with certain things, walking the dog or spending time with him can be pushed to the back burner and your dog will truly suffer because of this. There are a few things that you can do to make time for your dog so that he/she is not lonely!
Take your dog with you when you are out doing the normal daily tasks. Whether you have to go pay bills, drive your children here or there or even going out for a drive, take your dog. He/she will love going, even if she has to sit in the car. Getting out of the house and having something different to look at is a great thing for your dog to get a chance to do. If you will have other people in the car, for instance if you will be driving your kids around or picking up friends, this is a great way for your furry friend to socialize. One thing you should be sure of is to never leave your dog for more than a half an hour in the car and you should NEVER leave your dog in the car on a hot day. This could result in fatal injuries due to the heat, such as heat exhaustion.
Let your pooch sleep in the bedroom with you at night. He/she doesn’t have to sleep on the bed – they can have a cozy spot in the corner. Still, just the time together with you is enough to put him or her at ease. Neither one of you has to do anything but you’re spending time together anyway. This is a great thing to do. If you’ve noticed how dogs lie together when they are puppies, you will understand that dogs have an instinct to be close to the pack during times when they are vulnerable, like sleeping. This helps them to feel secure and safe. So, for an easy way to keep your dog happy and healthy, allow them to sleep in the bedroom with you at night. Try exploring different areas with your dog. Becoming accustomed to the same old route can also become boring. Although dogs like familiar surroundings, they also appreciate exploring new areas and seeing new things. Taking your dog through the woods or down a new path or even to the beach would be a great idea. You could even take your dog on a hike. The key is for you to enjoy the time you spend together as well because then you will want to do it more often and that will help the relationship between you and your dog!
Spend time with your dog while you’re doing other things. You can multi-task and you won’t have to feel guilty that you’re not spending time with your dog. For instance, while you are watching television, you can brush and groom your dog. Or, if you’re ready for a relaxing nap, allow your pooch to hop up on the couch and snooze along with you (unless of course he or she is a large breed dog – then you might get pushed off onto the floor!) Doing simple things like this can be very enjoyable for your dog and doesn’t take much extra effort and no extra time from you!
Encourage the other members of your household to play with your dog and spend time with him/her. If you live alone, you could hire a dog walker a few times a week (someone that you fully trust with your pet) and allow your dog the chance to interact with others and have a good time. If the dog lives in a house with children, this is great because children usually have tons of time and energy. Make sure that your dog understands that he/she is not dominant over the children and that the dog will obey the children’s commands before you allow the child to play with the dog alone. Not only will this help keep your dog happy and well adjusted, but it takes some of the responsibility off of your shoulders as well.
While you still need to spend a good amount of time with your dog, giving him/her attention, making sure that he or she is healthy and happy, you can make your life easier in some ways using the tips and tricks above.
If in doubt consult your Vet.