by Guest Blogger, Caroline Wise
Most of our To Do lists are so long, we can’t imagine squeezing in another task. With a 6-month-old baby at home, I know this all too well. Unfortunately, our pets often suffer the consequences of our busy schedules. However, providing your dog with activity isn’t as difficult as you might think: include you pooch in the tasks you’re already doing. It doesn’t take any extra time, and it makes your dog feel like a valued part of the pack. Here are some ideas for how to include your canine in your daily activities.
1. Running the Stairs
An exercised dog is a happy dog. One easy way to provide that exercise is to invite your dog to run up and down the stairs with you as you complete your normal housework. Every time I head to the basement to change the laundry, my dog Mabel comes too. Joining me downstairs prevents Mabel from lying around all day.
2. Yard Work
As you rake, garden, and water the lawn this summer, include your dog in the yard work. After I water our plants, I let Mabel splash in the hose for a while. The playtime puts a little perk in her step. If your yard isn’t fenced in, attach her to a long leash and let her roam while you work.
3. Take Out the Trash
Bring your dog along when you take out the trash. The fresh air does you both good. Mabel truly feels like she’s helping, and I don’t tell her otherwise. I wish she could do this task completely on her own, but she still needs my help.
4. Picking Up Dinner
Picking up carry-out for dinner tonight? Let your canine ride along. Obviously, you don’t want to leave your dog in the car alone, but if you’re just swinging through the drive-through, why not let your pooch get out of the house for a bit?
5. Fetch at the Computer
Mabel loves to bring her tennis ball to me while I work on the computer. It takes such little effort on my part to throw the ball a few times while I’m answering emails or blogging. In fact, I’m throwing the ball for her right now.
6. Quick Training
Though it may be impossible to carve out 30 minutes for dog training, try incorporating it in what you already do. Leaving to run errands? Have your pooch practice “waiting” at the door while you exit. Getting the mail? Tell your dog to “sit” and “stay” while you step outside to grab it.
7. Cooking Dinner
Nothing holds our dogs’ attention more than when we’re working with food. Since you have her attention anyway, make her work for a treat or two. It’s a good time to practice “leave it” and “down.” Keep dog treats handy in the kitchen to avoid feeding her human food.
8. Take Your Dog to Work
This may not be in the cards for many people, but you might be surprised what you employer says when you ask if you can bring your dog to
work. Even spending just half a day at the office gives your dog something to look forward to. No doubt she’ll lift your coworkers’ spirits.
9. Weekend Activities
Take your dog along during your weekend activities. Whether playing in the park, hiking, or picnicking, become familiar with the dog-friendly spots in town. She may even get to sit with you while you grab a bite to eat at an outdoor cafe.
10. Morning Jog
If the weather is nice, skip the gym and do your jog around the block instead. Grab a leash and a bag for waste, and take your dog along with you. If she can’t last as long as you can, circle around the block to drop her off at home before you complete your workout.
Including your dog doesn’t always require extra time or effort. A little goes a long way in making your dog feel loved and energized. Look no further than that happy tail-wag to get the “Thank you!” you deserve from the canine in your life.
About Caroline: Caroline Wise is a passionate stay-at-home mom and homemaker, who is grateful for the community of mom-bloggers who helped get her through pregnancy and prepare for motherhood. Now Caroline is compelled to share her newfound knowledge with others by paying it forward to the next batch of “mom-gals.” Her goal is to provide helpful information on parenting, products, and pets to inform you, inspire you, or just makes you feel less alone. Please visit Caroline’s blog site, WiseMamaBlog.com – “From one wise mama to another.”