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5 ways to improve your dog’s life

The following are five easy ways you can improve your dog’s life this week as well as increase the bond between the two of you.

Just commit to one of these simple ideas for one week only. I think you’ll notice a happier, calmer, more relaxed dog.

Of course, some of you are already doing these things. If you have any additional ideas to add, please mention them in the comments section.

I’m always interested in how others bond with their dogs and what I can do to benefit my own dogs.

Five ways to improve your dog’s life this week

1. Walk your dog every day for 20 minutes.

Twenty minutes is not a lot. Heck, walk for 10 minutes if that sounds easier. The point is to get out and spend some time with your dog every day for just this week.

2. Spend 5 minutes training your dog every day.

Just 5 minutes. Do whatever you want. Practice loose-leash walking down the driveway. Sit and down on a walk. Teach her to roll over. Just spend 5 minutes every day for seven days. You’d be amazed at how much progress you can make with such little time.

Five ways to improve your dog's life this week - healthy living with dogs

3. Spend 5 minutes cuddling with your dog.

Some of you already do this for much longer than that! But seriously, sometimes we need to make a point of just lying on the couch for the sake of cuddling with the dog. Or spooning on the floor like I do with Ace. Or maybe a doggy massage. Again, just 5 minutes. No texting or checking your email. Just focus on your dog.

4. When you get frustrated, step back and look at the big picture.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and upset over something our dogs do like pulling on the leash or freaking out over other dogs. Or, maybe pooping in the corner of the back bedroom. This week, try to let it go, breathe and look at the big picture. What progress have you made? What is the real problem? What could you do to slowly make a change? It’s never really the dog’s fault, is it?

5 easy ways to improve your dog's life today

5. Introduce something healthy to one of your dog’s meals.

We all want to feed our dogs the healthiest diet we can afford. Sometimes we put too much financial pressure on ourselves to buy the “holistic” kibble or organic canned food or the frozen raw diet.

How about just feeding your dog one healthier meal this week? That’s not too hard or too expensive. It’s also less likely to make your dog sick since there will be less change on his system. Maybe even feed it as a small snack. Just buy one small bag of the expensive dry food or one can of the organic canned food or one small bag of raw food.

Don’t put pressure on yourself to feed an entirely new diet to your dog. Just feed one healthier snack or one healthier meal per week, starting with this week.

Change is hard. Make it easy on yourself by making little improvements at a time.

What are some other simple ways to improve your relationship with your dog?

Nathan Green

Wednesday 10th of January 2018

My dog is wonderful. we had a big change in our lives a few years ago. He was able to go to work with me everyday. Had to change Jobs now he can't. So looking for ways to make it up to him. I spend every munitie I can with him when I'm not working these are great ideas.


Thursday 8th of September 2016

I read an article about dogs and exercise. I'm a runner and my two dogs often run with me anywhere from 2-7 miles. I always run at the same place and noticed that even after running those distances they weren't as tired as they should be. Anyway, this article explained that dogs need mental stimulation as much as they need physical. I started walking them at all different places. Only a few miles. I let them sniff everything, my male pees on everything. it works! This article explained that all the different smells, sights and sounds are mentally stimulating. It's good to switch it up! Best article I ever read!


Thursday 8th of September 2016

Use half of the dog's dry food as training treats - what dog doesn't like a reward? It's easy and you are already interacting with the dog, just extend the time. This leads to two short training sessions and atta boys a day without any extra effort. I also always walk mY dog just before meals - again not taxing on the memory. It's good for us both.


Thursday 8th of September 2016

We do so much of this here...even more, really. Our younger boy wouldn't be happy with just 20-30 minute walks, so he gets a good 45 minutes. Plus plenty of fetch and some agility training (and impulse control training!) every day. There's also lots of cuddling going on. And if we don't go cuddle with him, trust me, he'll come to us. By climbing up and sitting on our laps. He weighs 40 pounds but he's pretty sure he's a lapdog.

Our older girl gets a lot of cuddling a short walk, since that's what she wants. I have to remind myself to do some training things with her. We did a lot when she was younger but ever since she got vestibular disease that all stopped. She's much better now, still a bit wobbly, and so I tend to forget she can do SOMETHING and would probably enjoy it!


Sunday 27th of April 2014

#5 is a great point. We feed kibble and can but use fresh meat as training treats on a daily basis. Great for motivating the dog to learn new things really fast while giving her the fresh food to supplement her commercial diet ;)