In a perfect world, we would probably spend 24 hours, 7 days a week with our beloved four-legged friend. But unfortunately, for most people this is a utopian idea. Work, family and other obligations take up the biggest part of the day, which leads to many people being plagued by a guilty conscience. You can put those guilty feelings aside now. A busy schedule can be balanced by quality time with your dog. Try to build a bond with your dog this way, so you'll be closer than ever. Here are our 8 tips:
1. Be present
If the time with your dog is limited, you should fully focus on him during your time together. Don't get distracted and show your dog your love for him. Phone calls or television can wait. If you give your four-legged friend 100 percent attention, he will realize how important he is to you and be grateful for your time.
2. Rest phases
Schedule rest phases each day to be with your dog. For many people, a good time is late in the evening, just before bedtime. Instead of turning on the TV or computer, just sit with your dog and give him your undivided attention. Talk to him, cuddle him, pet him or just relax in his presence. Try not to think about anything but the two of you. Even ten or fifteen minutes of this quiet togetherness can make a big difference for both of you. It's like meditation - you'll be more relaxed and balanced, and your dog will bask in your love and attention.
Animals love routines. Do you have a partner and/or children? If so, create a schedule together so that each person spends time with the dog every day. Walks, training, play sessions, grooming, or snuggles are all attentions your dog will be thrilled to receive. With the help of a schedule, this extra quality time becomes routine. Regular treats can lead to a thoroughly tasty routine. Spoil your beloved dog daily with our delicious WW-Treats and a few play sessions.
Your dog is very grateful for your care and food. One way he shows gratitude and love is by waiting for you, whether it's at the bathroom door while you shower or at the front door when you come home. Every time you notice your dog waiting patiently for you, acknowledge the effort with a little pat on the head or scratch behind the ears. It may seem like a small thing, but acknowledging your dog's effort will mean the world to him.
Find a way to integrate your dog more into your life. If you work in an office, you could take your dog to work with you, even if it's just a few days a week. Depending on your workplace, this could be a way to spend more time with your dog and not leave him alone. In our blog article “Office dog” you will learn what qualities an office dog should have and find good arguments to convince your boss.
If taking your dog to the office is not an option and the workplace is close by, you can also come home for lunch instead of working through or going out to eat. To spend even more time with your dog during your lunch break, you can prepare your lunch the night before. This leaves more time for your dog to be filled with walks or petting. The visit won't just be good for your dog - you'll also get a break from the desk madness and can relax and clear your head for a moment.
6. Get fit together!
Many people subscribe to a gym for expensive money, but why not just exercise together with the dog? Jogging or a walk in the fresh air with the dog is certainly more fun than training in the gym and costs nothing! In case of bad weather, you can also train indoors with the help of a mini agility course.
Where does your dog sleep at night? Is he allowed in the bedroom or does he have to sleep in another part of the house? Many people love to have their dogs in bed with them, but if you're not one of those people, you can put the Dogbed in your bedroom, so that at least he is near you and can enjoy your company during the night. Sleeping together also counts as quality time. In our blog post “Dogs in bed - Top oder Flop?” we get to the bottom of this topic.
8. Involve your dog in daily tasks
Practice obedience or training commands with your dog while you prepare dinner. Chances are good that your dog will already be in the kitchen when it smells like delicious food. So is there a better opportunity to give him extra attention and mental stimulation? And the rewards in the form of raw vegetables, meat or cheese are right at hand.
The same principle can be applied to housework or yard work. Practice tricks together or toss a ball or toy while you mow the lawn or hang out the laundry. It may sound simple, but developing an awareness of how much or little attention you give your dog each day is the first step to seeing where and how to make improvements. The result will be an even happier dog.
How do you spend quality time with your dog? Feel free to let us know in the comments.