We get dogs because we love them, right? We would play and cuddle with them all day long if we could! While that sounds great, providing our pups with some structure does improve their quality of life and reduces mental stress. Why? Because every living thing has and needs boundaries. It’s just nature!
Here are some ways you can show pup you love them in a way they will understand and appreciate.
- GO ON AN ADVENTURE WALK
Allow pup to stop and smell the flowers, literally! Climb over rocks, walk through water and squeeze under branches with pup on an adventure walk. This could be on a dog-friendly hiking trail or even at the local kid’s park. Get creative and challenge pup’s mind and body. 😌
- MAKE YOUR OWN FORAGING TOYS
Here’s a recipe for some mealtime boredom busters with ideas of what you could do but, essentially, foraging toy’s are anything that allows your dog to work for their food. How hard they have to work depends on a few things, such as, have they ever needed to work for their food? Do they know how to use the toy? For first-timers, placing some kibble in an empty tissue box or a store-bought “ball with a hole” toy will be difficult enough. For a more keen pup, there are snuffle mats, you can play hide-n-seek with food, try wobbler toys, various Kong™ toys and anything you can come up with at home!
Sometimes I put my dog’s dinner in an empty egg carton. It makes it harder for him to gulp it down and he seems to enjoy figuring out how to get the food out!Organix Dog Spa
- GIVE PUP A MASSAGE
It might sound silly but pup can benefit from a massage every now and again, just like we can. I’m sure you’ve seen pup wake up from a nap and stretch out his back and legs, throwing in an almighty yawn. 😪 Dogs experience muscle soreness just like us. Why not try giving pup a massage after your next walk? Apply an even, firm pressure in circular motions starting at pups hip joints, working your way down the back legs, back up, down the spine, to the shoulders and down the front legs – repeat. Add in a forehead and ear massage and that’s it!
If done correctly, most pups will start to lean into your hands and may even turn around to better position themselves for the massage. 😁
ARE YOU PATTING PUP AT THE RIGHT TIME?
When you pat or talk to your dog you are telling them “yes!”. Remember that every time you give your dog any attention. If your dog jumps on you all the time, think, are you holding your arms out and “accidentally” patting them while saying “oh no! Spot! Get off me!”?
Because all that pup hears is “hu#%f! Spot! hr&nk!* Good Dog!”.
Why? Because attention is affection and affection is positive.
“…attention is affection and affection is positive.”
I’d love to never have to tell my dog, “no”, but our pups should be raised with an understanding of yes and no, just like our human children. 🙄 Cuddles aside, this Valentine’s Day I encourage you to do something your dog will find fun – not just you! Challenge their mind and body and encourage good behaviour.