Advertising
Advertising

10 Things Dogs Really Want Their Owners To Do

10 Things Dogs Really Want Their Owners To Do

We need dogs and they need us. The problem is that very often, we neglect to give them their basic needs. They were originally wolves about 100,000 years ago and about 15,000 years ago, they became domesticated animals. They are truly man’s best friend as they have hunted, guarded, nurtured and cared for humans ever since then. The dogs themselves thrive on being loved, protected and when they can help humans in distress. Dog brain scans now help us understand how dogs react to smells and odors.

In the town where I live, there are countless dogs but it is very rare to see them being exercised. They are used exclusively as guard dogs but as they yap and bark at anybody and everybody, I do not think they are very useful at all! They have certainly not been trained in any way and they are often left outside in unpleasant climate conditions.

What can help a dog to be healthy, happy and feel wanted? Here are 10 things that dogs really want their owners to know.

“Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.”- Kinky Friedman

1. They want a safe and comfortable living environment.

Some dogs like the Siberian husky and the German shepherd can be quite happy living outside in a doghouse, even in a cold climate. But experts are now telling us that, although dogs always lived outside for centuries, there are now more risks. Just think of dangerous gardening tools, pesticides, poisonous snakes, nasty neighbors and so on. But the biggest threat comes from extreme weather so a dog can freeze to death in winter or get heat stroke in the torrid summer. Dogs like to be outside at times but the best solution is to make sure they have their own space inside.

2. They do not want to be trapped in a parked car.

How many times have you seen a dog suffer in a parked car? I bet, lots of times. Watch the video where the veterinarian tries it out for himself. Although the windows are opened one or two inches, the temperature rises from 97°F to 117°F after 30 minutes. As dogs cannot perspire, they suffer terribly and they also feel helpless because they are not in control of the situation. The rule is never leave your dog in a parked car in warm weather.

3. They want to be taken out for exercise.

They need exercise and a change of scene. Every dog needs a daily walk and if you cannot do it, try to find a dog walker. Exercise helps the dog to keep fit, avoid digestion and behavior problems. Vary the route and allow the dog to explore all the new smells. Being left in the yard is not enough because the dog will not run up and down like an athlete in training!

Keeping them isolated and confined can lead to all sorts of behavior problems. I have just looked out of my window at my neighbour’s dog and their garden has been ruined by his destructive digging. He is very rarely taken out for a walk.

Advertising

4. They want to socialize.

Exposing the dog to other dogs and people is a great way to socialize them. But make a few mistakes here and your dog will end up being either too aggressive or very shy. The dog needs to get used to other dogs so that she behaves well at dog fairs, community events and when meeting other dogs during exercise. Frenetic and noisy kids should be avoided and also the owner should try and get the dog used to men with beards, women with long skirts, different floor textures, mixed weather and strange smells. These are all part of your dog socialization program.

An extreme case scenario is where you have a dog fight on your hands or where he or she might bite a child. Usually, the dog is overwhelmed and the owner might claim that he was working on socialization for the dog.

5. They need boundaries, just like kids.

Call it what you like: training, management or guidance, but every dog needs this. We tend to forget that a dog has the brain of a two year old child and therefore needs boundaries, rules, manners and consequences. Experts say that the training sessions should never last more than 10 minutes and they should always end on a high note, with the dog having done it right and getting a reward. The rewards for the dog and the owner are great. You have a calmer and more cheerful pet.

6. They want to eat well.

Just like us, they love their food. Some people are convinced that giving dogs raw meat is just what they would have had when they were like wolves. The fact is that a dog’s digestive system has evolved since then and is no longer equipped to process this raw meat. There is a real danger of getting salmonella or suffering from E. coli which is no joke. A balanced diet of fat, carbs and protein is best. Also, most dogs do best with eating in the morning and the evening.

Advertising

7. They need brain training.

Maybe you thought that dogs just need physical exercise for a healthy body. But the dog also has a brain which can be stimulated through games, toys and other devices. They want to investigate and discover using their brains and senses. You may want to play with her. But when she is on her own she would like to have a safe chew toy, for example. There are doggie board games and puzzles now available. Exposing your dog to new situations, sights and smells, such as going to the car wash, is also a good way to enrich her existence. Any activity which will help her focus, think and solve problems will make her a smarter and happier pet.

8. They need to earn a reward.

Every time you comfort a dog when he is afraid, this is interpreted as a reward and the fearful behavior becomes reinforced so it will happen with sickening regularity. Much the same goes when we give him a treat which he has not earned at all. It is recommended that you ask him to fetch something or sit before he actually gets the treat.

There are now work-to-eat toys which can contain the dog’s food. He has to work out how to open these to eat by pawing or nosing it. Some of the more popular ones are called Buster Cube or Dog Pyramid.

9. They do not want too much talk.

People talk to their dogs all the time and they do not realize that body language is far more effective than mere words. As we said above, the dog has a brain like a two year old child. We have to use the right body language though. A classic example when we talk too much during training. If we want the dog to stay and not come towards us, we tend to put up our hand. The dog interprets that as an invitation to come forward! It is much better to use our body language more effectively and to talk less.

Advertising

10. They do not want to be hugged!

What could be more natural than to hug a dog affectionately? Actually, dogs hate being hugged. The reason is a simple one. Dogs have no arms and see this as an attempt at dominance on your part. But you only want to be affectionate. It’s not on. The dog will feel threatened or afraid.

Dogs will sometimes tolerate hugs from kids because they know them well but otherwise, this is often when dog bites happen. Look at what happens when a child tries a hug. The dog may lick her lips or pull her ears back against her head which means she is not happy at all. If you want to express your love, try rubbing her back near her tail and don’t pat her head. She does not like it!

Featured photo credit: Dog/LuAnn Snawder Photography via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Freelance writer

What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It How to Work Smarter Not Harder with These 12 Tips 12 Secrets To a Super Productive Meeting You Should Know 10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day 40 Powerful Productivity Quotes From Highly Successful People

Trending in Leisure

1 The 25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are 2 How Not to Let Work Take Priority over Spending Time With Family 3 25 Super Fun Things to Do With Family to Strengthen Your Bond 4 15 Funny Idioms You May Not Know (And What They Actually Mean) 5 10 Relaxing Games to Play Online to Help Chill You Out

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

Advertising

Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

Advertising

Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

    Advertising

    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

    Advertising

    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

    Read Next