Life moves at the speed of life. It doesn’t wait for you to catch and won’t give you more time if you haven’t finished everything you need to get done. There’s no way to slow it down and there is little chance of getting more hours added to the day.

Getting to everything that needs to get done on a typical day can be a big challenge and you’re forced to prioritize your tasks to want needs your immediate attention and put the rest off. When you’re faced with work, kids, spouses, and a long list of daily obligations the one thing that usually gets pushed aside is the dog.

For me, with twin girls, my business, my nonprofit, and my wife there is little time for myself or my dog. Those are the two aspect of my life that I have prioritized last, which means they usually get little or no attention.

I’ve recently come to realize is that, not only can I take care of both myself and my dog at the same time, but it doesn’t have to take too much time out of my busy day. Both me and my dog love spending time together, so by taking care of her, I’m also taking care of myself. Even on the busiest of days, I can feasibly take small increments of time throughout my day to spend with my dog, which can make a difference for both of us. Little things really do go a long way. If you take a few minutes here and there throughout the day, it can add up to a decent amount of time.

So here are my recommendations for you to get more out of your day with your dog.

1. Whatever time you currently get up, set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier and spend that time with your dog. Make your morning walk longer or spend that time playing with a toy.
2. Do some simple obedience or tricks (whatever your dog knows) 3-4 times throughout the day for five minutes. I like to do these before meal times or before we go out for our walks.
3. Before you go to bed at night, spend 5-10 minutes of quite time petting and loving your dog. Don’t do this while watching TV or talking to someone else – instead really spend the time with your dog enjoying and appreciating him/her.

When you do have the extra time (like on your days off from work or when the kids are at school) go for that long walk or some more lengthy playtime and interaction with your dog. Although we would love to spend an hour or two walking and playing with our dogs each day, it’s just not always possible. We can, however, carve out short periods of time throughout the day, which can greatly improve our day and give your dog some much needed (and deserved) attention.

So, get away from you computer right now and start your first five minutes with your friendly neighborhood Fido.

photo by: h.koppdelaney

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