August is an unusually busy month for me. But that’s not Honey’s fault. So how can I spend quality time with my dog when I don’t have much time to spare?
Spending Quality Time With Your Dog
Share a meal together. Hey, you gotta eat. So instead of grabbing a sandwich while watching TV, why not sit down beside your friend to enjoy your meal while he’s enjoying his.
Train a trick. Training sessions are often the first thing to go when we get busy. But really, it doesn’t take much time. And you’re bonding with your dog while working his brain.
Honey is learning how to close a cupboard door. I keep the clicker on the counter above the door we’re working with and bits of liverwurst are waiting in the fridge. We practice 5 times and then stop. It takes less than two minutes.
Take a short walk. Walks are another activity we can’t find time for when we’re busy. But a short walk is good for both of you.
No, it’s not going to be a lot of exercise for a big and fit dog. Or for you. But you can make it more fun and stimulating by varying your pace (if I skip, I’m going about as fast as Honey is on a trot). Or toss a ball or play tug for a few moments.
Enjoy a nap. I hate to sleep in the middle of the day. And besides, who has the time? But Honey loves it.
So later this afternoon when I have to order things for our trip to Panama, I’ll cuddle up on the couch with my laptop, credit card, list of items to buy, and a fuzzy Golden Retriever.
Give a massage. Yes, I know. Even when you’re not crazy busy you probably don’t massage your dog that often. But you really should.
Within moments of stroking your dog (or cat), you’ll experience the release of many positive hormones and the decrease of the stress hormone, cortisol. And what’s more likely to help you be productive in a busy day? Raging stress or a calm, can-do attitude?
Write short blog posts. Or, if you’re not a blogger, limit your Facebook, Twitter, or Candy Crush time.
Sure, it’s fun to go online. But is it really more fun than spending time with your dog? When time is short because you have too much to do, get offline. You (and your dog) will benefit far more from the time you spend together then you’ll ever get from spending time with Mark Zuckerberg.
And now I’m off to take my own advice.
If you, like me, have no time, I hope you’ll spend some quality time with your dog. She’ll thank you. And I bet you’ll get even more done.
Your Turn: Do you find that making time for you animals improves or decreases your ability to get things done?