January 13, 2022
3 Habits To Improve Your Dog's Life - And How To Make Them Work
Shop Team K9
We all have good intentions and as dog parents we're likely to have some dog-specific to-do’s. Grooming your dog regularly and improving their walks are just a couple examples. No matter how much we do for our dogs and how much effort we put in, there’s often that one thing we’d like to do better, do more of, or just do at all. This is where the concept of habit stacking can be helpful.
Habit stacking is a great way to execute on to-be habits. It’s a way to increase the odds of following through on your good intentions by adding a new habit to one you already have. Brushing your dog’s teeth is a great example. Of course it’s good for your dog’s overall health but it’s sometimes difficult to carve out the time to do it. For one, your dog most likely hates it and then you feel guilty by forcing it on them, which does absolutely nothing for your peace of mind (or your dog’s teeth).
With habit stacking, you can attach brushing their teeth with something you already do for your dog such as giving them a bath, or even going for a walk. Through habit stacking, you’re applying the same principles of dog training to your own behavior. A cue (getting ready for a bath) signals an action (brushing their teeth), resulting in a reward (the satisfaction you get from actually following through). So here are 3 good habits for your dog that you can use habit stacking to execute on.
1. Teach your dog something new
Putting in the time to teach your dog practical skills such as how to walk nicely on a leash, how to stay, and how to wait for you all pay off big-time. For more shared playtime, teaching your dog a new game you can play together such as fetch, tug, or hide and seek are all great options to improve your relationship with your dog.
2. Work out with your dog
Regular exercise with your dog can not only help you meet your own fitness goals, but will also help keep your dog in shape. The simplest way to incorporate your dog into your fitness regime is through walking. The benefits of regular walking are already well known and include improved muscular strength, blood circulation, memory, sleep, energy, and reduced stress. Dogs are great companions to have as walking partners!
Habit stacking is particularly useful when exercising with your dog. If you take your dog for regular walks (which you should), you can use habit stacking to pair the game of fetch with your dog’s daily walk. This way they associate fetch with their walks.
3. Cook for your dog
Feeding your dog a variety of whole foods makes a lot of sense. For starters, you can gain control over your dog’s diet. Through home cooking, you can also appease picky eaters, combat food intolerance issues, and reduce your concern over pet food recalls. However, when cooking for your dog, it’s important to feed them healthy ingredients, prepare balanced meals for them, use ingredients from trusted food sources, and seek the correct advice from professionals such as your veterinarian. Before changing your dog’s diet, reach out to your veterinarian for advice as to what would be the best steps to take for your dog’s unique situation.
To find out more about the science and psychology that make habit stacking work, read James Clear’s article.
You might also like: