What is dog meditation? A breakdown of the benefits

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Young woman on yoga mat with dog

Deep breath in. Ohmmm. Namaste.

Meditation is a common practice among us humans and is well-known for its positive effects on health, well-being and happiness. But have you ever considered how meditation might also improve your pupper’s mental health and overall general well-being, especially if they experience anxiety?

You may have heard of Doga, but if you’re struggling with your downward dog or your sunrise salutations, then perhaps you could consider meditation. There are many ways you can meditate with your furry friend, from walking to practicing relaxation protocols and the best part is it’s beneficial for both of you!

Relax together

Animals can experience the same benefits from meditation as humans can — one of the most significant being relaxation.

We know puppers are highly instinctual creatures and have an incredible ability to follow your cue and your energy. If you’re excited and hyperactive, your pup will probably mirror your behaviour. Similarly, if you are calm and peaceful, the likelihood of your furry friend feeling the same is very high.

Following standard meditation practices at home, such as yoga or breathwork, can be made just that bit better with your pupper. We’re not suggesting they attempt a warrior pose. But having your pup join you when meditating can increase your positive mood and decrease your overall stress, allowing you to feel more grounded and your pup to feel calm too.

Exhale… aaand relax.

Tune in to tune out

Music is used as an anti-anxiety therapy for humans and is often used to treat sleep disorders. Similarly, music can be used to help your pupper relax. If your pupper is particularly anxious around noise, using music or white noise — like helping soothe a baby — may assist them.

Interestingly, a study undertaken by the Scottish SPCA found the stress levels of dogs reduced significantly when listening to classical music. It also found that playing music to animals in shelters stopped excessive barking, and lowered respiratory rates and even cortisol levels.

There are even music compilations that have been specifically composed for your furry friends, which combine genres and sounds that are soothing and calming for them. Check out some of our top picks here:

Dr. Karen Overall’s relaxation protocol

If you want to do more training with your pupper to help with their anxiety, one helpful method is Dr. Karen Overall’s relaxation protocol. This is designed to help dogs that are easily overstimulated or have issues with calming down or relaxing.

Through a series of exercises, you teach your pupper to lie down and relax while you perform tasks that would ordinarily get them excited. Simply, if they stay lying down on their mat or bed, they are rewarded with a treat.

Teaching your pupper to relax can be a helpful tool in ensuring their health and wellbeing are maintained no matter the circumstance. It can even help with other behavioural issues that they may be dealing with.

For more information about Dr. Karen Overall’s relaxation protocol, you can read about it here.

Lyka: helping balance your pupper’s behaviour

At Lyka, we carefully formulate our signature recipes with a colourful mix of human-grade wholefood and superfood ingredients, with no nasties or artificial colours or flavours. The optimal and balanced ratio of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals will help to keep your pupper healthy and happy – no sugar spikes in sight!

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