Explore. Move. Breath. Connect…
Every Damn Day.
As a dog walker and mom, I’ve witnessed and learned that the healthiest and happiest dogs are those that are walked or exercised daily. It’s no secret and is your dog’s best chance at sharing a long life with you.
And I say this with emphasis because the simplicity of walking with your dog transforms your daily relationship to a whole new level. Yes, the physical benefits are incredible. In fact, dog owners are four times more likely to meet exercise guidelines. And the increased physical activity that comes with owning a dog may be one reason why dog ownership is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
BUT there’s so much more to it.
All too often we as humans nestle inside our homes, comfortable and relaxed. Today’s technology and living standards keep us safe and warm. But over time we disconnect from exploring our own neighbourhoods and ultimately we lose touch with Mother Nature. Yes, in Canada our weather is temporal, today I’m dreading the cold winter snow. But we have four beautiful and awe-inspiring seasons to connect with our planet, explore new places and revel in it’s beauty.
Your dog loves to explore! I don’t know a dog that doesn’t sniff their way wherever they go. They connect with other animals by their sense of smell, committing their social network to memory. Without this vital exercise dogs can become territorial, develop a fear of strangers and even become destructive indoors in the attempts to convince you to go outside together. Challenge yourself to tire them out, find a safe place to run free, and soak in the moment of being alive on this planet together.
Walking in unison we share our space and energies with our dogs achieving flow of movement and intention. This helps us slow down to the speed of our body and take the time to integrate the natural flow of life into our cellular tissue.
The simplicity and ease of a daily walking practice allows us to create time, space and awareness of our surroundings and of the wonders that lie within. Instead of rushing your walk give your dog plenty of time to sniff, so they can feel both physically and mentally satisfied after your walk.
Walking with your dog improves mindfulness. It slows us down allowing us to pay attention to our bodies and our breath. Becoming attuned to the rhythm of our breath with each step allows us to check in and take notice of our bodies and state of mind.
When you’re able to be in the moment both physically and mentally you’re able to recognize your thoughts and feelings and observe what’s out of sync. By breathing rhythmically and practicing the simplicity of mindfulness while walking we can find our sense of calm and tranquility together with our dogs.
Dogs and humans are social. It’s vital to our daily lives and it never fails you’ll pass another person or dog on your walk. A quick wave from across the street, a short chat with your neighbour about the weather, or a play date when your dog makes/meets a friend. All of these can lift your mood, connect you with others, and most importantly socialize your pack (that’s you and your dog/s) regularly. When you’re social your dog anticipates meeting the same people as you and it’s a shared activity that strengthens your bond as family.
Walking your dog encourages their behaviour to follow yours. Your pace, your energy, your mood, your interactions, your voice, and your state of mind. It’s a subtle awareness and joy of simplicity that sets in when you have open space, fresh air and your dog looking up at you with their mouth wide open smiling. Walking is but a start to the amazing health, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits that serve both of you to live longer healthier happier lives.
Dogs look to us as examples so be the person your dog thinks you are.
And walk your dog, Every. Damn. Day.
Don’t have the time or schedule to make this happen for your dog every day? If you live in Niagara, ON and need a dog walker send me shout and I’ll connect you with one.