I recently posted this video, which shows 4 out of 5 dogs at my place just chillin’ out at noon on a Tuesday. (Yes, that’s a nod to Sheryl Crow… ;))
I got a couple comments asking how I did that, so I thought I’d share my recipe for doggie zen:
Exercise is the main ingredient in doggie zen. Have you noticed that on days you’ve worked out, some of your anxiety and bad habits just disappear? It’s the same with dogs. Tired dogs are good dogs, mostly because they’ve used up their excess energy.
This particular morning, these dogs had a good hour and a half of outside romping. If you don’t happen to have a pack of dogs for yours to play with, you can play fetch or tug, or spend 15 minutes in the yard with a flirt pole. You could also go for a sniffy walk, since sniffing increases your dog’s happiness.
- Calming music
There’s a collection of classical music that’s played at a tempo that is scientifically proven to calm animals, called Through a Dog’s Ear.
In the dog room, I use the Through a Dog’s Ear CDs playing on a stereo, and in the main room, I use the Through a Dog’s Ear playlist on Spotify with a bluetooth speaker.
- Calming scents
I have a great diffuser that I use with essential oils in the main room. Various sources mention that many dogs don’t like the scents of citrus or mint. That’s a little bit of a bummer for me, since I *do* like those scents.
A 2018 study found that the scents of vanilla, coconut, valerian, and ginger calm dogs in a shelter environment. I use DoTerra Serenity (lavender/flowery scent) and DoTerra Balance (spruce/woody clean scent). DoTerra Balance is my favorite. The dogs like them both.
- Calm state of mind
I believe that your dogs can “read” your own state of mind at some level. So if you can stay calm and happy, your dogs pick up on that. If you feel stressed or notice your dogs being anxious, sometimes the best thing you can do is take a few deep “yoga breaths”. I think it’s great for everyone in the room!