Ways to Practice Self-care with Your Dog

holding dog's paw

Having a dog can be highly beneficial to one’s health. For one, they can effectively lower your stress levels and support your mental health, helping you attain a better state of mind. Apart from that, they can also improve your physical well-being by encouraging exercise and decreasing your blood pressure, which helps reduce your chances of developing chronic illnesses.

But do you know that dogs can also improve your self-care activities? Yes, we know; what did we do to deserve them, right? Take a look at some of the best ways to practice self-care with your beloved pet by your side.

Playtime

When was the last time you just let yourself go and played? As an adult, you probably don’t have much time to let loose with all the responsibilities you’re swamped with, and naturally, it can feel pretty ridiculous to play around like a child. But no matter how old we get, play is a vital part of life. It helps us maintain a healthy work-life balance by giving us a chance to unwind and entertain ourselves. And of course, nothing can bring out our sense of play better than our dog.

Playing with your dog can elevate your brain’s happy hormones, making you feel happier and more relaxed. Apart from that, the physical activity that comes with playing helps keep you healthy, especially if your job has you sitting all day. However, if your dog gets a bit too rowdy, it helps to enroll them in dog obedience training as early in their life as possible.

Exercise

Exercising is not only good for you, but it’s also beneficial for your dog, who needs to burn off energy regularly. Here are some exercise activities that both you and your pup will enjoy:

  • Running up and down the stairs
  • Hiking, walking, jogging
  • Playing tug-of-war
  • Playing hide-and-seek indoors or outdoors
  • Swimming in lakes or ponds
  • Going through obstacle courses
  • Playing fetch

High-quality sleep

lying in bed with dog

Letting your dog sleep beside you can lead to better overall health. Just simply curling up next to your beloved pet can help reduce depression, ease insomnia, diminish nightmares, improve your sleep efficiency score, and achieve longer, uninterrupted sleep. And for adults who have trouble sleeping or barely get enough sleep as it is, sleeping next to a pet is easily one of the best self-care activities there is.

However, there are several instances where sleeping next to your dog is not ideal, such as when:

  • Your dog is not house-trained
  • You have severe allergies
  • You don’t plan to change the sheets anytime soon
  • You or your dog have health issues
  • You are a light sleeper
  • Your dog has not been cleaned yet

Traveling

Traveling is another great form of self-care. The break from the daily grind, the excitement that comes with being in another place, the chance to unwind with no expectations, and it’s no wonder why many people find traveling so fulfilling. But if you have a dog, you can make the experience better by traveling with them by your side.

Although traveling with a pet comes with its own challenges, you’ll find that the hassle will be worth it when you arrive at your destination and you have your best friend with you. Luckily, your dog will be happy no matter where you go, as long as they have you!

Cuddle

Even just a few minutes of cuddling with your pet can wash away the day’s stress. Curl up with your dog on the couch and spend a few minutes of cuddle time with them. The next thing you know, you’ll feel refreshed and happy because of the oxytocin release in your brain. Just make sure that your dog is comfortable with cuddling. Some dogs don’t appreciate it as much as others do.

Eating something healthy

Your idea of self-care through food might be pizza, chocolate cake, and some ice cream. But not only will calorie-dense food make you lethargic later on, but they will also make you feel guilty after eating, which is not helpful when trying to show yourself some love.

Instead of greasy and sugary food, treat yourself to a healthy meal that will bring long-lasting energy for other daily activities. While you’re at it, give your dog some fresh food that is safe for them. It’s a much-needed treat if they eat the same thing every day!

Self-care can be much more effective when you do it with your dog. So if you’re feeling down or stressed lately, try these self-care activities with your beloved pet to unwind.

What other self-care activities are more fun when you have a dog? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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