The Healthy Lifestyle My Dog Taught Me

A healthy lifestyle sounds nice, right? It sure does! And I’ve tried to make my lifestyle healthy many times.

It was with eating not at some particular time but when I feel like that, drinking water, being active… However, all those times I ended up completely forgetting about it and had to stick to my own routine which went well with my schedule.

Well, and even though it was convenient living on that routine, it was very easy to skip things I didn’t felt like doing even though I knew they would be good for me.

For example, we all know it’s good to go to bed and wake at the same time. No matter if it’s a Tuesday or Saturday. But how is it possible to wake up at seven o’clock on weekends? For me it always was Nah, no way am I getting out of bed! And I slept more. Then I went to bed later than usual. And because of that, my sleeping regime was always different.

Also, have you ever wished to go for a walk every day because fresh air and just walking itself feel good and are good for your body? I have. And even when I was determined to do that every day, again, I skipped it easily. Like, I have a headache, I should lie down. Or I feel tired, let’s just watch Netflix. Or I don’t feel like walking, I’ll better have a cup of tea and scroll Instagram.

Well, with dog everything changes.

Healthy Lifestyle: Sleep Time

Since we were able to walk Freddie outside, my own routine changed a lot. All those things I was trying to do earlier became part of my daily life very naturally.

Dogs wake up at a very similar time each morning. For Freddie, it’s around 6:40 am. And he won’t let me sleep because he needs to go out and pee.

So each morning I also have to wake up at the same time, dress up and go for a walk, which usually takes 40 minutes for us.

Fresh air, birds singing, and a path in the woods as well as Freddie running around happy, make me incredibly happy and thankful too.

Oh, and because we always get up at the same time, I also have to go to bed at the same time. Another way I know I won’t get enough sleep.

Healthy Lifestyle: Walks

Another thing about dogs is that they need to have their walks. It depends on the breed and energy levels of the dog, but all of them need to be physically active.

How it changed my lifestyle?

Well, before having Freddie, and especially once the quarantine started, I barely left my home. The walking distance was usually up to 1 km per day. That was terrible, I know. But when you don’t have to go out for a walk, it’s easy to find excuses.

Now I always walk at least 3 km per day and sometimes even more, no matter what the weather is. Yes, it takes time and I don’t get to waste an hour or two for social media or watching TV shows. But I feel so much better! I used to have headaches very often, now they come only during my period or when I have a lot of stress. But walks help me cope with the stress too. And I feel stronger. Moreover, I found the willpower to workout at home regularly and finally find pleasure in doing that.

Healthy Lifestyle: Breaks

Oh, this one is great too. Of course, you know that you should have not only a lunch break but some short breaks in the middle of the work too. To rest your eyes from the screen, to move your body, and get that ass off the chair.

Do you do those breaks?

I didn’t.

But now I don’t have another option but to have them!

Every now and then, Freddie comes asking for belly rubs, tug war, or ball fetching. And it’s impossible to resist! So I have to take a break, get up, play with him a little bit and then get back to work.

Never before could I get those breaks even with an alarm set to 5 min break times.

Healthy Lifestyle: Drinking water

Another thing that Freddie influenced me on is drinking water. I was always drinking water multiple times per day but when working from home, I found it a bit difficult.

However, seeing a dog wake up from his heavenly sleep and go drink some water, and then go back to sleep again made me follow him to the kitchen and have a glass too.

Freddie doesn’t need any external reminders to drink water. He just feels it when it’s time to do so. And I have to ensure that his water bowl is never empty.

So sometimes I follow him to check if he has enough water, sometimes just to admire him for drinking so often. But at the same time, I also drink some water.

His walk to the kitchen is my natural reminder to drink water myself.

Joy, Gratitude, and Love

Before having a dog, I used to find myself in sad, sometimes desperate moods, and they could stay with me for a while. I also used to make gratitude lists and make myself notice the good things going on around me. I could even say that I was a melancholic person.

But oh my, since Freddie came into our lives, and grew out of his evil destroyer mode, he’s been spreading good vibes all around him.

Watching him explore the world, even if it’s him eating yogurt first instead of his treats, or him being happy about a new toy, or simply having him by your side on the couch… It’s so much joy, and gratitude, and love in all that I don’t have the right words to describe it.

Also, watching my boyfriend playing with Freddie or taking care of him fills my heart with lots of love for both of them.

Even when something bad or not pleasant happens and I could get into my melancholic mood again, I just can’t stay in that mood for long. I’d say, it’s limited to one hour max. And then the sweetheart Freddie and my boyfriend always bring me back all those good feelings and I’m happy again.

Reality Check

In case what you’ve read made you want to have a dog too, I just wanted to do a quick reality check. Yes, I feel amazing having a dog. But the first couple of months with the little puppy were terrible, I cried a lot and felt devastated, but once the teething ended so did the destroyer behavior. Also, those early mornings and 3 km per day walks have to happen no matter how cold, rainy or hot it is. Or how muddy the dog gets back home. Oh, and it’s not like you can go out once per day, with a six-month-old puppy we have to go out six times per day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. So it’s not only nice things, it’s a lot of patience and dedication too.

Anyway, having a dog is challenging and on one hand, it might feel like you need to sacrifice something to make time for your dog. But on the other hand, a dog can turn your life upside-down to the good. And just like that, your lifestyle can become healthy.

Well, and if you don’t have, can’t have, or just don’t want to have a dog but still want a dose of dog cuteness, check out Freddie’s Instagram.