Balanced Dog – Mental vs Physical Activity

Cats and dogs attend the BlogPaws Social Media Conference.

Just a few of the interesting BlogPaws attendees.

Honey sure slept well.

You’d think that after napping in the car during the seven hour drive to BlogPaws she’d be bouncing off the walls all night.

Luckily she got a mix of mental and physical exercise to tire her out.

Mental Exercise for Dogs

So what’s tiring out Honey’s brain at BlogPaws?

  • Seeing new animals—dogs, cats, and ferrets so far.
  • Meeting strangers.
  • Having to control her impulses to jump up on the table and clean up everyone’s leftovers.

With the amount of stimulation she’s getting at a conference of hundreds of people, smells, and sensations, Honey could be exhausted for days.

But we need to tire her body out as well.

Physical Exercise for Dogs

Luckily, there is an outside dog park at the hotel. And it was conveniently stocked with a compelling, squeaky ball.

Honey the Golden Retriever meets Leslie Olyott of Bringing Up Bella.

Ahh, yes, right there. Keep rubbing.

After sniffing and meeting and greeting, Honey was happy to spend a few minutes retrieving the ball. She stretched her legs. And she even stretched her brain a little since I’m a bad enough thrower that once the ball ended up in a tree and once just outside the fence.

I bet today she’ll even meet a few pups willing to play chase in the bark park with her.

Balanced Dog, Balanced People

Honey will be much happier if I balance the mental excitement with physical activity. And I’ll be happier if I remember the same thing for myself.

The worst thing I could do is to try to balance a 90 minute lecture on SEO with 90 minutes chatting with friends while eating cheesecake.

Somehow I don’t think Honey will let me sit still for too long.

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  1. Great post. Our dogs need both mental and physical exercise, as we people do. You know the old saying- use it or lose it? Applies to the muscles and the brain!

  2. Nice way to balance Honey’s physical and mental exercises. It’s so important to know your dog – I discovered, after taking Dakota to a couple of large events, that she got very stressed out in groups of dogs and people. Just not her thing. She’s now goes to doggie daycare once a week, getting mobbed and sniffed and played with, and she’s much better. She started out crying and struggling when I first brought her to daycare, and now she runs into the building, greets the owner and runs to the play yard. May try another big event with her and see how she does.

  3. Max's Ma says:

    How exciting to be there and you are so right about the importance of balance!

  4. Sue at The Golden Life says:

    Ah, yes, that innate need for balance! Thankfully, Ducky gets plenty of physical exercise at daycare during the day, and at home I go through the basic commands with her before letting her eat her meals, and out in the yard when there are no distractions other than the squirrels, birdies, and neighbors’ cats.

  5. Sue at The Golden Life says:

    Callie and Shadow get their exercise — both mental and physical — playing with each other, going for short walks at the park or the ballfield across the street. Once the surgeon gives the okay, I’m going to start taking them to Ducky’s daycare one day a week. That way they’ll get some more exercise, and much-needed socialization with other dogs. They’re getting older, and don’t necessarily want to play all day, but they need more socialization than they get these days. Even half a day would be better than none.

  6. Slimdoggy says:

    Balance is important…but the cheesecake was tofu base, so at least a little healthier, and there is always the pool!

  7. Its nice that Honey gets to attend with you this year. You will have to let us know how it all goes and what your experience was like with her at your side.

  8. I know when I went to BlogPaws last year that my dogs were dead tired by the time we made it to our hotel room at the end of each day. Pallo spent most of his time in the complementary dog daycare, which I know he enjoyed, and I know it also tired him out. But Koira did less active things all day, mostly walking around with me seeing the different booths and going to the different sessions, and she was totally beat at the end of the day too.

  9. It is tiring for them going to things like that isn’t it! A wonderful experience but they just can’t say no to more and more stimulation until they’re beat. I think for mine it’s other dogs that are more tiring than people. They can pretty much ignore other people if they want, but they can NEVER ignore other animals :)

  10. I always can learn something from your posts to apply to myself as well as my dog. Balance in life. Important.

  11. Which is why Delilah and I take training classes, it helps stimulate her mind and our walks stimulate her body. :-) Great post Pamela, it was wonderful to meet you (I hope I wasn’t too fawning over you) and you are every bit as gracious and delightful in person as you are on your blog.

    I just wish I could have channeled you today at the park, when I got into an argument with the lady walking her dogs. 😉

    BTW, your entire family is delightful.

  12. It sounds like you and Honey both had a great, if exhausting, time. That much stimulation is way to much for Buster and Ty – they’d be miserable at a conference. I guess that leaves me with more time to eat cheesecake and chat with my friends. =)

  13. Oh look, that’s me getting some Honey lovin’. I’m pretty sure I spent half of BlogPaws on the floor. :)

    I forget where I heard it but I just recently heard the statistic that 15 minutes of brain games is equal to an hour of physical activity. Still, I think dogs need both – there’s nothing quite like an unbridled run to release the tension of a hard day.

  14. Traveling is exhausting, no matter how long you sit. I’m glad you had a good ride and arrived safe. Have fun!

  15. Finally hopped over from Fit Dog Friday and I am so glad I did! What an excellent and very important post. I can always tell that our boys are happiest when we find a balance between physical and mental activities. I had never thought about it before but, indeed, I am too!

  16. I’m happy that I could help contribute to your BlogPaws balance by chatting. :)

    Seriously though, it was wonderful to see you again and I really enjoyed our talks. I wish we lived closer – although if we did, you’d probably get tired of me constantly inviting you on coffee dates. 😉

    Giant hugs to you, Honey & Mike!