Imagine you can’t do anything for yourself.
You can’t open the door. You can’t get your own food. You can’t turn on the tv. You can’t drive a car. Or even walk outside unless someone opens the door for you. You can’t read a book to pass the time away. You can’t work on crafts. You can’t surf the web. You can’t work. You can’t read the paper. Really, the only thing you can do is sleep. All. The. Time.
You are completely and totally dependent upon someone for just about everything.
Sound good? Or like a prison?
I just described the life of most dogs. Even mine. I’d go a little nutty if I had to live one day like that, let alone a lifetime.
Back in the day, dogs had jobs.
They weren’t pets, they went out and worked a job. They herded cattle, they guarded livestock, they ran with carriages — they had a purpose!
Today’s dogs lead a life far removed from their working dog ancestors. So while it may seem that a dog’s life is a pretty good one, when you really think about it, it leaves a lot to be desired.
So what’s a dog owner to do? How can we help our dogs live better, fuller lives?
Here are some ideas:
- Teach them something new every week — something funny, something useful, it doesn’t matter. Just get their brains engaged!
- Make feeding time an adventure — dole out their meals in food dispensing toys.
- Have them work for their snacks — when we get a delivery, I save the box and the paper packing materials. I then wrap a goodie (dog biscuit, rawhide, pig ear, whatever) in the leftover packing material (adding extra newspaper if needed, to make it even more challenging), then fold the flaps of the box so the dog has to work to get into the goodie. And after they’ve gotten into the box, they still have to find the treat and unwrap it! Yeah, there’s a little bit of paper to pick up at the end of the day, but it’s so worth it to see your dog working hard to get to the goodie.
- Sniff walks — take your dog out and let him sniff and sniff and sniff. And then sniff some more. This is their version of social media — let them enjoy the smells around them!
- Take your dog hiking (on a long line) to a new place. The change of scenery is good for everyone!
- Invite some good natured, laid back, appropriate doggie friends over and let your dog have a rompfest in your fenced yard.
- Fill a kiddie pool if you have dogs that love the water.
- Create a doggie digging pit and hide goodies in it.
Your turn! What do you do to ensure your dog’s day is a good one?
Annika Halvari says
I found a game completely by chance when I got an iRobt Roomba. So Asher wouldn’t be afraid of it, I would put treats on it while it was off and then when it was on. At first he was a little shy of it but now he loves it. It moves and turns so unpredictably that sometimes he really has to watch and wait for just the right moment. It’s not nearly as loud as our bigger vacuum and I think that helped. (and BTW, it works great on picking up dog hair).