Good for you, good for your dog too
This month, the third week of April will see our campaign focus on the power of wellness, as we delve into easy activities you can undertake with your dog to both live your healthiest and happiest lives.
To get involved, send us a photo of you and your dog engaging in self-care and pet wellness, or upload it to Instagram using #WellnessWithBarc 🧼
Taking steps to wellness is important for all of us, and this extends to our pets. With the knowledge that dogs are capable of experiencing a wide range of emotions, it couldn't be more important to focus on dog wellness in addition to physical health.
In our guide below, we explore the different aspects of holistic health, sharing activities you and your dog can mutually benefit from for improved wellbeing.
Discover more about wellness:
- What is wellness?
- Why is wellness important for humans and dogs?
- What steps can I take to achieve better wellness?
- How can I support my dog's health and wellness?
- What are the mutual benefits of prioritising wellbeing?
- WELLNESS with Barc London
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What is wellness?
Wellness can be defined as the state of being healthy in mind and body. Ideas of wellness are closely linked to making lifestyle choices that aim to improve holistic health and happiness.
Despite being perceived as a relatively modern concept, the origins of 'wellness' date back to ancient times. Many aspects of wellness as we understand it today are rooted in different historical, religious and medical movements across the world.
For example, evidence of one of the world's first holistic medical systems 'Ayurveda' can be traced back more than 3,000 years ago. Ayurvedic medicine originated in India and focused on achieving health and wellness by creating harmony and balance between the body, mind and spirit.
Since gaining popularity in the late 1900s, wellness has been brought into the mainstream, with more and more people recognising the importance of making time for self-care.
Why is wellness important for humans and dogs?
Wellness is made up of several interlinking factors that all contribute to our overall health and well-being. Because of this, it plays a hugely important role in how we live our everyday lives.
An awareness of wellness can help us make better choices about how we care for our minds and bodies, which can help to improve their functions.
Not only benefiting physical health, wellness can help to improve mental health and spiritual wellbeing. These factors can positively impact our emotions, and influence how easily we are able to cope with day to day life stresses.
For a long time, the focus of wellness has been on humans. Now, more and more people are recognising the importance of pet wellness for dogs too.
An interesting fact about dogs is that their evolution has been altered to increase their social compatibility with humans, more so than any other animal. Dogs are attuned to human emotions, and a number of studies have found similarities between the human brain and the dog brain.
Though dogs brains are far smaller, the same structures are present. 'This is true for large regions like the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum, as well as for smaller, subcortical structures like the brainstem, hippocampus, amygdala, and basal ganglia, which have important roles in movement, memory, and emotion.'
Research shows that dogs process sensations similarly to humans. Their brains have been found to react in a similar way to ours when exposed to emotional stimuli.
Comparisons can also be made in the way both species experience pain, with dogs showing similar symptoms for psychological conditions like Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
When you consider all of this, the importance of investing in dog's wellness becomes clear - to live their healthiest, happiest lives, they too should engage in steps to wellbeing.
What steps can I take to achieve better wellness?
By taking steps to wellness, you will ensure that you are living your happiest and healthiest life, while also providing the best canine care to your pup. Discover ways to improve your emotional, spiritual, social and physical wellness:
Emotional wellness 💭
Emotional health is focused on our thoughts and feelings, which influence our behaviours and ability to handle challenges. Steps you can take to improve your emotional wellness include:
- Practising mindfulness and living in the present moment
- Learning how to cope with different emotions
- Focusing on the positives in life
- Smiling and laughing as much as possible
- Developing positive coping methods
- Understanding when to seek help from others
- Getting enough sleep and down-time
- Indulging in feel-good activities
Spiritual wellness 🧘
This aspect of wellness refers to the bigger picture of how you find meaning and direction in life. It is closely connected to ideas of having a clear sense of self and ‘purpose’. There are lots of ways people try to improve their spiritual wellness, such as:
- Connecting with the natural world and universe
- Meditation and yoga practice
- Encouraging daily affirmations
- Taking time to explore your inner self
- Pursuing things you’re interested in
- Practising acceptance and forgiveness
Social wellness 🫂
All to do with human interaction, social wellness helps to improve our connection to others and develop meaningful relationships. By investing in social wellness, you strive to be your most comfortable and confident self in any given social situation. Steps to improve social wellness include:
- Getting involved in your local community
- Making time for family and friends
- Checking in with loved ones regularly
- Practising being a good listener
- Building new relationships with people
- Reaching out to people you trust
- Travelling to experience different cultures
Physical wellness 🏃
The physical part of wellness is centred around keeping your body and its functions in good health. Steps to physical wellness focus on activities which help you maintain optimal health and lower risks of illness:
- Engaging in daily exercise
- Eating a nutritious, balanced diet
- Avoiding under-eating or overeating
- Scheduling routine dentist & doctor checkups
- Giving up unhealthy habits like smoking
- Listening to your body and seeking help
- Focusing on hygiene and cleanliness
How can I support my dog's health and wellness?
There are lots of steps you can take to prioritise dog wellness to help prevent health problems from developing later in life.
And, as you engage in activities that are good for your dog’s well-being, you’ll find yourself doing more of what’s good for you too.
Pet Wellness Activities for Dogs:
Make time to cuddle and massage your dog, it can help to soothe anxiety and promote bonding
- Giving your dog time to bathe in the sun and experience sensations or warmth
- Make playtime a priority, encourage your dog with positive reinforcement and laughter
- Consider welcoming another pet into the home to give your dog a friend
- Engage in brain games with your dog (treasure hunts, hide and seek, ring stackers etc.)
- Observe your dogs for any signs of appetite change, destructive chewing behaviour, aggression, accidents in the house, shaking, hiding, whining or withdrawing
- Monitor your dog closely following the loss of a family member or fellow pet
- Seek help if you’ve adopted a dog that has previously experienced abuse or neglect
Give your dog plenty of time outdoors to explore the sights, sounds and smells of nature
- Consider trying out ‘Doga’ (dog yoga) with your dog for enjoyment, exercise and bonding
- Play calming music, or research ‘Hound Baths & Sound Healing’ to promote a calming energy and meditative connection
- Allow your dog to explore its surroundings without a lead when out on walks
- Teach new tricks and brain games for dogs. Praising good behaviour to boost confidence
- Indulge your dog with self-care and luxury pampering experiences
Dog training classes that let your dog meet other dogs and people in a controlled environment
- Doggy dates to encourage socialisation and interactive playtime
- Daily dog walking in public areas like parks, fields and woodlands
- Providing your dog with plenty of expose to different environments
- Take your dog with you to coffee dates, shopping trips and family celebrations
- Increase your dog's familiarity with friends, neighbours and family members
- Join a dog group in your local area and get involved in community events
Ensure your dog gets a minimum of 30 minutes - 2 hours of dog walking and exercise per day
- Feed your dog a nutritious and balanced diet, monitor and limit consumption of unhealthy fats etc.
- Introduce a regular feeding routine, never overfeed or underfeed your dog
- Keep on top of your dog’s grooming needs (bathing, coat cleaning, nail trimming, teeth brushing etc.
- Make plenty of time for active play (with games that expend energy like fetch)
- Monitor your dog for signs of discomfort from seasonal allergies
- Prioritise regular dental and health checkups at the vets
What are the mutual benefits of prioritising wellbeing?
- Boosts self-confidence
- Helps with socialisation
- Reduces anxiety and stress
- Increases levels of dopamine
- Improves physical fitness and energy
- Better behaviour and coping mechanisms
WELLNESS with Barc London
As we continue to build on our product offering, we are exploring more and more areas where dogs can benefit from more tender love and care.
Dog grooming forms an important part of your pet's health, and our latest Wellness range offers luxury grooming essentials to help dogs feel their best at all times.
Comment below to share the steps to pet wellness you take with your dog!