If your dog could have a Best Day Ever, what would that look like?
Janice Costa of the Canine Camp Getaway and I got together for a casual conversation to discuss the importance of making sure our dogs have a really great life together with us, with plenty of Best Days Ever.
Did you miss our live Clubhouse chat in the Dog Lovers Club? Here is a quick recap of what we talked about!
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There are so many things to consider when we think about giving our dogs their Best Day Ever. Each dog is so unique, with their own likes and dislikes, their favorite things, and what they can or cannot do. However, there are some common themes that run through life with our dogs regardless of their level of training, their physical ability, or their age. We just need to learn to apply the theme’s intent to our particular dog and their particular needs.
I can’t possibly include everything we talked about live (#YouHadToBeThere), but here is a summary of the highlights:
- It isn’t about you. There. I said it! When planning for our dog’s Best Day Ever, we need to remember that it is about what our dog sees as The Best, not us. However, in order to give our dog lots of Best Days Ever, we also need to make sure that we make these activities fun for ourselves, as well. It doesn’t do much lasting good if we are one-and-done.
Does your dog love a really long sniffy walk where you really are just standing around as they sniff? Playing fetch for an hour? Sitting with them as they take in all the smells? These are all activities that our dogs tend to love, but that can be kind of boring for their humans. The more we can find our own joy in these activities – maybe by going to a new area, listening to a podcast or audiobook, or just learning to sit in nature – the more fun we both have, the more likely we are to repeat it.
Try something new. Our dogs are expert and natural born explorers and adventurers. They like having freedom and time to experiment, with time to just be a dog. By exploring new experiences together with our dogs, we can find hidden talents or passions they have. We want to give our dogs a wide swath of experiences – they want and thrive on adventures and new experiences.
- Listen up! Are you listening to what your dog is telling you? Our dogs give us bids for attention all the time. Every time they come and sit near us, nose our arm for pets, drop a toy at our feet, or when they bark at us – they are all requests for attention. There are many subtle ways our dogs ask us for things. Thankfully, our dogs are the clearest communicators. They don’t lie or try to deceive us – they are an open book. Our job is merely to learn how to read when they are saying to us. The more we learn to listen, the better we become at interpreting their requests. Once we learn to become a translator for our dogs, we can put the pieces of information they provide together and we can figure it out.
- Be intentional! Our dog’s whole life is based out of our homes and based on our schedules. As conscientious humans and guardians, we want to do our very best to meet their requests and respond with attention and play. We want to be intentional about making time to give them their Best Day Ever. It is especially important to carve out one-on-one time together when we have more than one dog. This helps us have dedicated time to foster the relationships we have with each dog. For some people, this might mean that each of their dogs has something special thing that they do together, like running errands, couch time, kayaking or paddle boarding, yard work time, etc. When this activity happens, that dog knows it is their time together! It might also look like rotating each dog on a morning walk, or taking turns to head out on a windows-down car ride. Whatever it is, put these on the schedule!! Make sure to make time for their next Best Day Ever.
If your dog could talk, what would they say about your life together? Is every day together is their Best Day Ever? Are you creating opportunities to bond and make new memories? We created Lucky Pup Explorers because we know there is more to becoming a great dog owner than a warm bed and bowl of food and water. We believe that with a little knowledge, some expert tips, and a strong community of likeminded dog lovers, every family can Live Full, Live Happy — together. Ready for more tips? Get our guide for having more fun with your dog!