We spend a lot of time thinking how good our dogs are. How much love they give us and what a big a difference they make in our lives. But how often do we ask ourselves this question: am I good dog person? Are we as good as our dogs think we are?
Personally speaking, I always struggle to answer this question. It’s hardly a matter of accountability because for our dogs we are better than the best. It’s more about doing things every day that enrich the lives of our canine companions.
Since good dogs – and in our book every dog is a good dog – deserve good people, here are three things that we can do become better humans to our dogs.
Give your dog the freedom to choose
Be it food, toy, other dogs, or people, give your dog the freedom to choose. Some dogs are big foodies, while some are not and like to have the same food every day at the same time. Most dogs love to play with toys but some dogs may not. While there are the take-me-anywhere kind of dogs who are more than happy to greet other dogs and humans, sit calmly at a café, for some dogs doing all this might be stressful. As their humans let’s be more empathetic and kinder. Let’s not force our decisions on them but help them to feel calm and confident in their surroundings.
Engage with them mindfully
Walking our dogs a few times every day is great. But how many times do we check our phones on our walks? If we are distracted, we are not really engaging with them. It then becomes more of a chore. A great way to engage with our dogs is by creating small everyday rituals – it could be every day play time, exploring together while on walks, also teaching them new tricks. Basically, making every moment count – and our dogs are our biggest teachers when it comes to this. They really do live in the moment. So, let’s make every moment count.
Take a moment to reflect
With so much noise around I sometimes feel the need to sit back and really reflect on how much my dog contributes to my wellbeing, how he enriches my life every day. It’s an exercise that us humans of dogs must try to do regularly. Importantly, lets reflect on this one reality – our dogs didn’t ask to be part of our lives, we made them an integral part of our lives. So, lets live up to that responsibility.