Your Lifes Balance

When your balance is off, so is your • dog's. If your mental balance has you burned out, this usually means your dog has been lacking mental stimulation. If you're physically ill or exhausted, your dog probably isn't going to get his physical needs met. Watch your own trends to know which ones could go off-kilter for your dog.

If you're physically down, give your dog some creative mental things to do. Games like food cubes, mentally challenging toys, or Find It games can substitute for physical activities at these times.

If you're mentally exhausted, go for a walk or toss a toy for your dog.The physical exercise will do you a world of good when you're mentally tapped out, and the physical exercise can substitute for your inability to do creative mental work with your dog at this time.

Evaluate your daily life. What is your schedule like? If your daily schedule takes you many places and leaves you breathless, you may want to regain control of your own life, slow it down, and catch your breath. Your dog won't be able to take long bouts of time alone, especially if the end of your workday (the beginning of his time with you) leaves you with nothing left for him.

What types of things do you like to

• do? Are you an active person with a high drive to exercise, or do you enjoy couch-potato sports? If you haven't already bought a dog, match the breed and its needs with your activity level, so both of your needs are more closely matched.

If you live a sedentary lifestyle, then

• it is obvious that owning a high-energy dog (like a sporting breed) is not conducive to your lifestyle. What may not be obvious is that owning a dog with less physical needs but high mental needs (like a Rottweiler) may cultivate different problems. Dogs with high mental needs require as much active "care and attention" as highly physically active dogs.

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