Many pet owners consider their four-legged friends to be important members of the family. As a result, it’s normal to want to include your dog in your hobbies and interests.
Not only is it always fun to spend time with your best friend, but there are countless benefits to being around your dog more often. Dogs can help to keep you active, reduce stress levels and anxiety, and they can even boost your mood.
No matter what your hobbies are, chances are there are multiple ways to adapt them so your dog can be included.
Let’s look at a few “big picture” hobbies and interests you might have, with a few suggestions on how to get your furry family member involved as much as possible. Keep in mind that your dog thrives on spending time with you, so you’re not the only one benefitting from bringing them along!
Dogs are great accountability partners for anyone who wants to lead a more active lifestyle. Depending on the size and breed, most dogs need anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours of physical activity each day.
If you’re already someone who likes to stay active, including your dog in your workouts and adventures will be beneficial for both of you.
There’s really no right or wrong way to “workout” with your four-legged friend. As long as whatever you’re doing is safe for them, your dog should be able to keep up with you while you’re hiking, jogging, swimming, or even leisurely riding a bike so they can prance beside you.
Of course, don’t forget to think about the kinds of physical activities they might enjoy, too. Heading to your local park to throw a ball or frisbee can still be a great workout for you and a fun physical game for your dog.
The best part about being active with your pooch is that you can get creative no matter where you are or what season you’re in. In the summer, run on the beach beside them and splash in the waves. In winter, go cross-country skiing and have them walk along by your side.
Exploring the Great Outdoors
Do you consider yourself an adventurer? An avid camper? Or, maybe you just like road-tripping in your RV.
Whatever the case, you can share your outdoor enthusiasm with your dog and be fairly confident that they’ll enjoy it just as much. Most dogs love being outside – think of all the smells!
Camping is a great way to explore with your furry friend and boost your bonding time together, whether you go as a duo or with the whole family. However, there are a few safety precautions to keep in mind when you take your dog with you on a camping trip, including:
- Keeping them hydrated
- Having plenty of food for them
- Packing extra first aid materials
- Checking them for bites or scratches
- Protecting them from the sun
Think of the extra steps you take to keep yourself safe while camping. If you’re going to bring your dog along, they deserve those same measures. Consider camping closer to home a time or two, so you can get your dog used to the environment and see if they actually enjoy it and can stay calm when they’re not in their normal surroundings. The more familiar they become with the camping experience, the easier it will be to travel the country and hit up some of your favorite campsites with them.
Getting Musical With Your Mutt
Maybe your interests and hobbies focus less on physical activities and more on mental stimulation and creativity. Including your dog in things like that can be great for their brain health, keeping them sharp and alert for years to come.
Music, for example, is a wonderful thing to share with your pet. You might be surprised to learn that music often has the same soothing benefits on dogs as it does on humans. Other mental health benefits for both pets and people include:
- It reduces anxiety
- It decreases aggression
- It boosts focus
- It can improve your sleep
Your dog probably won’t have a musical preference the same way you do. So, try playing some of your favorite tunes for them. Whether you’re just an avid listener or a musician yourself, your dog could end up being a big fan of the tunes you play simply because you’re spending time with them.
There are so many ways to include your four-legged friend in your hobbies. Whether you’re interested in quietly crafting or knitting or playing guitar in your garage, your dog just wants to be a part of your life. As a den animal, they look at you as their leader. Whatever you can do to include them in your hobbies means they’ll get to spend extra time with you – their favorite hobby of all.