Unless you work at a zoo, the only time you get to participate in doing recreational activities with animals is if you own a pet, or a friend or family member needs you to take care of their pet for a certain period of time. However, any person who owns a pet knows that there are many different activities that you can do together with your furry (or in some extreme cases, scaly) companion, and that there are just as many benefits from doing the activities as well. Of course, if you own a pet fish, there aren’t many activities that you can do together, and if you decide to own a pet snake, the usual guidelines for how to keep yourself and your pet healthy and happy simply do not apply, as unconventional pets like spiders and snakes need special care. But, cats and dogs are conventional, and while that does not make them less of a responsibility, it does make taking care of them a lot easier and fun.
Every pet is unique
Having a pet is one of the best things in the world, true, but it is also a responsibility. Different dog and cat breeds require different type of care, but what they require the most is attention and
affection. In other words, spending time with your dog should become a part of your schedule, no matter how busy you are, and you should always show genuine affection and not look at the time spent with your dog as a responsibility you’ve taken care of. Dogs are very sensitive, even if they seem to forget times when you’ve been cruel to them and are always happy to be around you.
Numerous bonding activities
Cats are usually happier staying at home and purring in your lap, but dogs are very outdoorsy and get extremely happy when they are taken out. Of course, this does not mean that you only need to take your dog out for walks one or two times during the day. There are numerous other activities that you can do together.
- Dog parks are places where dogs are allowed to roam free of a leash, usually a fenced parts of bigger parks. If your dog is comfortable and not aggressive towards other dogs, allowing your dog to roam free is one of the best activities you can do to make your dog happy.
- Hiking, on the other hand, is something that you can do together with your dog, as long as you make sure the trail will not be difficult for your dog to maneuver. While dogs seem very strong and agile, they need to train in order to be strong enough to take on steep hiking trails, or to go on hiking trips that last for hours at a time.
- Agility training is a very good bonding activity for you and your dog. Instead of hiring a dog trainer and taking your dog to a complicated obstacle course, use your own backyard and create simple obstacle courses and guide your dog through it. Don’t forget to encourage your dog and to give it rewards for a job well done.
- Playing fetch with Frisbees and other toys is also a very good activity for you and your dog. Toys are a very good way of keeping your dog entertained when you are busy, and using the toys later in play makes the toys and the attention you give your dog more special.
- Vacation trips with pets are a bit complicated to do, especially if you’re going out of the country, in which case, there are procedures involving getting your dog a passport and proving he is safe to travel and to stay with you. But if you’re not going out of the country, the only thing you need to be sure is that the place where you will be staying for the duration of your vacation accepts pets. Instead of leaving your dog behind, you can take it with you and turn your vacation into an adventure.
Health benefits from recreational activities
It is easy to assume that the health benefits of owning a dog come from the increased physical activity a dog owner needs to do in order to take good care of their pet. This is true – dog owners are healthier and physically fit than people who do not own dogs. After owning and training with your dog for a while, your stamina will increase, and you will be less stressed, seeing as all the physical activity will help you release the stress you’ve accumulated during the day. You will also be able keep your dog healthy, through noticing any changes in its behavior that might indicate a visit to the vet, and generally keep your dog happy, which bounces back on you and makes you happy too. And from that, stem the unseen, and mostly ignored, psychological health benefits from owning a dog.
Having a dog is a responsibility we take gladly. It means putting the dog’s needs before ours, diverting our focus from our own problems towards taking good care of our dogs and pets. This fact is very important for people who suffer from psychological problems like depression and even addiction. Today, a very widespread addiction is problem gambling, and having a dog keeps the owner focused on the dog’s needs, rather than their own fight with the addiction. It keeps them away from the casinos, it helps them get out of the house – which is very important. Today, with online gambling at the tips of our fingers with this site and various others, dogs help their owners by being always excited to go for a walk or to do an outdoor activity.
In addition, health problems like cholesterol, recovering after a heart attack can be helped with owning a dog. People who have Parkinson’s disease sometimes suffer from leg freeze – their feet freeze while their body keeps moving and they fall down. They often want to stay at home and become reclusive because of this, but dogs actually sense the freeze in their owners and by licking or touching their feet, they help them unfreeze and continue moving, which is very important for keeping people with this disease as healthy as possible.
And at the end of the day, having a dog and doing various activities with it is not only beneficial, but entertaining as well. Getting a dog is one of the best things a person who is depressed can do to help themselves get better, and have lots of fun while doing it.