WWhether you have locked up your self-care practices or are just dipping your fingers into the world of wellness, managing your daily wellness routine can be very tricky. Add responsibility for someone elses healthy lifestyle, too? Now this is exactly the next level.
By “someone else” we mean your dog, to be clear. And if you have recently become a parent of a pet (or want to pay a little more attention to your current dog’s health), the idea of creating a daily pet routine for your dog can feel a little overwhelming.
You do not need to, however, take any advice from movement trainer and trainer Traci Copeland, who acquired her first dog (a miniature poodle named Brooklyn) about a year ago. Having primarily cats, a puppy was new ground for her and her husband, so she wanted to do everything she could to ensure that her new furry BFF was in good health.
“I wanted to make sure he ate enough, ate healthily, walked a lot, had plenty of time to play, was groomed, as you say,” says Copeland. It was not easy at first, but once they found a wellness routine that worked for both of them, they fell into a rhythm that was really satisfying.
From choosing a meal (Brooklyn loves Hill’s Pet Nutrition) to finding the right balance of exercise every day, keep reading Copeland’s tips for creating a dog-friendly routine and the information she learned at course after one year of pet parenting.
Scroll down for tips on starting a dog-friendly wellness routine.
1. Be consistent
Just as consistency is the key to people trying to build healthy habits, so dog-friendly wellness routines thrive on consistency.
“Puppies and dogs need structure – they’re part of their natural development,” says Copeland. “Brooklyn is a creature of habit. It can feel when it’s time to wake up, it’s time to go to bed and it always reminds me when it’s time to play even when I don’t like it. It even knows when I put on a certain pair of shoes and a certain coat, then it’s time to go out. “
To that end, Copeland recommends setting a schedule for feeding, walking and playing directly from the bat – so that your puppy’s healthy routine is instilled early on.
2. Prioritize nutrition
For Copeland, choosing nutritious foods has become an automatic way of life — and she strives to apply the same principle to the Brooklyn diet. “Healthy eating … feeds my workouts and my mental well-being,” says Copeland. “As someone who has worked in the field of health and wellness as a yoga coach and trainer and someone who likes to run and dance, I crave foods that will sustain me and give me energy throughout the day.”
Brooklyn has a similar love for movement (“she can jump very high for a small dog and can overtake any dog in the dog park,” says her proud mom) so she needs a diet that can support her energy and support muscle and joint health, says Copeland. This is why — after trying many different varieties of croquettes — they agreed on the Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small Paws Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe.
“[Brooklyn] “She is very selective, so I was not sure how she would react at first,” says Copeland. “But as soon as I opened the package, she was moaning and whining like she was hungry — she was excited! I immediately put a little in her bowl to try and she started crumpling it immediately “.
With high-quality protein and vital nutrients in tweezers (Brooklyn was immediately a fan of its crunchy texture), Hill’s Pet Nutrition follows a scientifically supported approach to nutrition in every recipe — so Brooklyn energy can match her mom’s active dog.
3. Remember that everyone needs playing time
Do you know this feeling when you sit all day at your desk and suddenly count down the minutes until you can go out and do something? Dogs have the same feeling.
“Puppies are a good reminder that we all need to go out and play,” says Copeland. “No one wants to be stuck in. Early, [Brooklyn] they would take zooms (this wave of energy where they just go and leave). It is very common in puppies and dogs, but I read that it can also be due to excessive energy, which meant that I probably did not play it or walk it enough.
Once he identified the Brooklyn exercise needs, he was able to add them to their daily routine. Now, they take at least two 20-minute walks a day, take “play breaks” all day to throw a ball or work on orders, go to the dog park to play with other dogs, and sometimes even do yoga together.
“Whether we go for a walk, play fetch, or try to train with me, it gives me a chance to take a quick mental break from whatever I do,” says Copeland. I see? Your dog’s wellness routine can really be mutually beneficial.
Photos: Traci Copeland; Art: Well + Good Creative