Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Happy Handler, Happy Dog

Today we're participating in the quarterly Dog Agility Blog Action Day, where agility bloggers from across the universe post on a specific topic. Today's topic is…

Health and Well-Being

 of people and dogs in dog agility

Whether or not you compete in agility, we think you'll find the responses to this topic varied and interesting for anyone who's interested in health and well-being. Check out the great collection of blogs who posted today and then read down for our take on the topic. 

A great beach run helps clear the mind AND keeps both Rocco and me healthy and happy!

So, one question we're exploring today is: 

Is what's good for you also good for your dog?

Sometimes yes, and sometimes no.  We all know there are foods that can be harmful to dogs, but not people. But for the most part, healthy practices will benefit you both. 

In a previous post, we wrote about all those activities that help keep us healthy...  like cross-training, stretching, rest, good nutrition and play.  

But what is REALLY on our mind regarding health and well-being is:

Who do you put first, you or your dog?

Many of us would automatically think to put our dogs' well-being first... and parents of human children will say they'd do anything to put their kids' well-being first.

But think about this one simple direction we receive on airplane flights: "put your oxygen mask on yourself first, THEN take care of your children." Because what good are you if you pass out first!

We think that same holds true for taking care of our pups.

What good are you to your dog if you're so tired, or so hungry or so dehydrated that you can't perform well as your part of the team.

So here are our five simple rules for taking care of your canine/human team.

  1. Get plenty of rest before and during trial weekends. If you don't get enough sleep, you won't remember the course and your timing likely will be off, too. And that will NOT make your pup happy!
  2. Hydrate on event day. Don't forget your own hydration as well as your dog's. We've seen too many handlers get light-headed or even pass out due to dehydration.
  3. Don't forget to eat on game day. Will all the excitement and preparation, it's easy to forget to eat. You need energy for long agility days as much as your dog does.
  4. Avoid stress. Know what makes both yourself AND your dog happy. If you like to socialize but your dog doesn't, keep your pup comfy and crated away from the hubbub of agility activity and go socialize on your own. Conversely, if people make you nervous, find a place you can get into your own state of mental well-being.
  5. Which brings us to...  Stay true to your game plan or routine. Whatever routine you've developed, stick with it on game day for a happy healthy you and your dog.

Who do you put first? You or your dog? Let us know how you handle you and your pup's health and well-being in the comments below.

The fun and games continue every Friday with FitDog Friday, the weekly Blog Hop brought to you by To Dog With LoveSlimDoggy and My GBGV Life to promote a healthy active lifestyle for pets (and their people, too!). Join in every Friday by linking up your FitDog story or visiting the blogs in the Hop.


  1. We totally agree all the same important things good for mom are good for us
    Lily & Edward

    1. Yep! Both of you and your mom have got that right!

  2. Great post, Diane and Rocco! And being consistently active is at the top of our list.

    1. That's great to hear! Thanks for stopping by today!

  3. Great advice! Our pups usually sense when we're a little draggy, so by taking care of ourselves and being in tip top shape probably helps them perform better too.

  4. Love the post! Mom has to take care of herself to take care of us, but we are a real close second to her.

    1. Your mom's got the right idea! Huge congrats on your Nose to Nose nomination!

  5. Most excellent advice...all too easy to forget. Still working on it!

  6. Great post! Getting Phoenix, she actually taught me that I had to take care of myself first before I could do a good job taking care of her. Before I got her I always put my pets first.

  7. Great post - and sounds like a fun Blog Hop...Obviously the health of our pups is predominant in this household.

  8. Hi Y'all!

    You have a very important point. When my Human gets one of her migraines life is no fun for me!

    Y'all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  9. Good advice! I always pack snacks and water for Mr. N but I sometimes forget mine!

  10. Great tips! We just coincidentally posted about agility today too! Charlie just finished his beginner course and had a blast! We will be staring Intermediate Agility next week!

  11. What a great point! I never thought of it that way...and I tend to put the dogs before myself when it comes to exercising. I'll make sure they get outside and play, but I don't always get enough exercise myself.

  12. Our pups Missy & Buzz keep me fit & are the reason I no longer need a gym! We start our days with a nice walk, structured walk every morning we all benefit from!

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