In this crazy intense world, stress takes it toll on both people and their pets. Demanding jobs, pending deadlines, and rush-hour traffic can make it difficult to decompress. For many people, meditation is a great way to clear your mind, center yourself, and regain focus. In fact, the practice of meditation has a variety of benefits for mind and body. It can lower your blood pressure, improve your immune system, help with sleep, and possibly slow the signs of aging.*
So what do dogs have to be stressed about? Simply everything. Dogs are instinctual creatures that have adapted better than any other creature to live by our sides. But they feel the pressure as much as we do. Frequently we ask dog to set aside their instincts to be “good dogs”. We bring home guarding breeds and then expect them to not bark at the neighbors. We bring home herding dogs, and then give them nothing to herd. And keep working dogs without giving them work to do. More often then not this leads to stress and bad behavior. Perhaps getting your dog to sit on a pillow and clear his mind while chanting “OM” seems a bit far fetched. Meditation is no doubt a human activity, but nature has given dogs their own version- Chewing.
Give a dog a bone and you are likely find her quiet for hours (except for the grinding sound). Quiet and focused. Think of the gnawing sound you hear as the canine equivalent of “om”. Dogs have an innate urge to chew and will likely find improper things to gnaw on for lack of proper chew toys. There are a lot of products on the market and just as many varying opinions as to the best kind of bones to provide. As a rule you NEVER want to give your dog chicken bones, and rib bones also carry a fair number of health risks. The bones I’m talking about can be made of a variety of substances. Yukon and Swota’s new favorite is antler (at bottom).
Whatever chew toys you pick, make sure they are size appropriate for your little(or big) chewer.