Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of us have been "forced" to spend a lot more time at home and re-imagine our relationships with family and friends. The feelings of loneliness and isolation have increased with the loss of face-to-face social interaction while being in lockdown or quarantine. But on the bright side, it has given a lot of dog owners a better opportunity to bond with their furry friends. It has made them companions for life.
All pets, but dogs, in particular, have a unique ability to provide their owners a lot of emotional support and love, and all that during some stressful times. They bring a lot of fun to the home and keep you in the present moment, rather than overthinking an uncertain future. That being said, a lot of studies have shown that dogs provide comfort, which is at least equal to a close friend.
In a study conducted by the University of Utah, they found:
STIMULATING & FUN ACTIVITIES TO DO WITH YOUR DOG
Creating new creative activities to do with your dog is essential for your dog emotional well being and overall happiness. There are a lot of activities you can do with your dog, which include:
Taking long hikes and walks: Getting much needed exercise for yourself is just one of the benefits of going on a long walk. You also explore new areas and take a welcomed break from the repetition routine of going to the gym.
Make homemade dog treats: This not only allows you to spend quality time with your dog, but also tests your culinary skills, which from time to time could help to improve your diet.
Training: When you're spending time at home, you have more time to improve your dog's behavior with training. Doing so will give your dog good manners for life and make it much easier to take your dog into public spaces as they open back up.
Just chill: Snuggling up together on the couch after a long day, while watching a movie with your dog could be just what the doctor ordered after a busy day.
Teach your dog new tricks: In order to create a closer bond, teaching your dog new tricks is the most powerful way. Besides the new tricks that your dog learns, it also improves overall manners and obedience while at the same time increases your dog's flexibility, concentration, and balance.
Play: Playtime is an important part of a dog's life. Through play, dogs are able to get their exercise in which leads to a healthier dog. First, you'll need to figure out what type of play style your dog likes. Does your dog like to fetch things and bring them back to you? Does your dog enjoy chewing more than fetching? Does your dog react to squeaky or grunting toys? Once you have these questions answered, pick out a toy for your dog's specific play style. Here are some recommendations:
Once you know your pet's play style, and you have the right toys, be sure to spend at least 30 minutes a day playing with your pup. As you play with your dog, the bond between the two of you will grow and before you know it, you'll be best friends.
TEACH YOUR DOG A NEW TRICK
There are a lot of tricks you can teach your dog. Some of them are:
Shake Hands: You should first, present a handful of treats to your dog. Then, they will be inclined to paw at your hand, and as they are doing it, start using the command "shake."
Paws Up: You should teach your dog to put their front paws up to a high object like a small chair or tree stump. The object you choose should be close to you and you should also have treats readily available in your hand. Move slowly so your dog follows the treats in your hand. Once you have your dogs attention, raise up your hand slowly and encourage your dog to also raise their front paws. Once the paws are up, reward them with a treat and praise him. Repeat this process until the trick is learned.
Once you and your dog are comfortable with these, you might want to continue to more difficult tricks like teaching your dog to jump on your back or play dead.
HOW TO BE YOUR DOG'S BEST FRIEND
Like every other relationship, you get what you put in. Well, dogs are no different. Make sure to respect your dog's needs. In return, they will be willing to give you their respect. What should you do to get love from your dog?
HEALTH BENEFITS OF OWNING A DOG
Living in these unprecedented times, many of us have experienced a lot of stress, depression, and anxiety. But that doesn't mean the dog has to experience these too. Developing a closer relationship with your dog not only helps the dog, but it can help you too. Here's how:
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR DOG IF YOU GET SICK
If you ever get sick and cannot care for your dog, it's important that you have a care plan in place for your dog. While it can be hard to think about, it's good to be prepared so that you pet continues to receive the best care.
During times of stress, owning a dog can help you cope with depression, anxiety, and the feeling on loneliness. Pet parenting responsibilities such as grooming your dog or playing with your dog helps keep people active and healthy! While owning a dog comes with quite a few responsibilities, the reward is always worth it!
This article was written by Elissa Berger – the proud owner of 5 dogs.