How Did a Dog Change Me from Being Lethargic to Active

Like most of us, I have always wanted to be an active person in my life. I know that being physically active will help me stay fit. It also helps stay mentally fit, which is equally important. Despite knowing all the facts, I still have found it hard to stay active throughout my adulthood. I always had some excuse to skip workouts most days. I especially felt that the lack of time was the main reason I could not hit the gym.

This might seem like an actual situation in many people’s lives, and you may relate. After all, when you work 9 to 5 every weekday, you may hardly want to work out in the evening. It feels better to just watch Netflix while enjoying a chilled beer bottle.

So, how did it all change for me? How did I suddenly become a fit person from a couch potato? Well, all this changed after I got a dog for myself. I did not plan on getting one, but my sister rescued a dog, and as she already lives with three dogs, it felt right to share that responsibility. Obviously, this was my first dog. Hence, I had to do enough research from to ensure I am a good dog parent. It seemed a little tricky and confusing initially, but I learned much about owning a dog with time.

How Does My Dog Keep Me Active?

If you are wondering how I have become an active person now, there are several reasons. Firstly, once you are responsible for another life, you automatically feel like ensuring it gets the best from you. This means as I own a dog now, I have to ensure to feed it twice and walk it thrice a day. I also play with my dog for an hour daily to give it enough physical exercise. I also ensure my dog indulges in mental exercises to engage.

All these responsibilities take a lot of time for me, but this makes my dog healthy and active. I have a partner who shares these responsibilities; hence I can do this. I have always wanted to work out in the evenings, but after a tiring day at work, somehow, I manage to find some excuse. But after owning a dog, no excuse works as I cannot skip its walk. My dog waits for me the entire day, so I take it out for 30 minutes at night. I just cannot skip that walk when those big eyes stare at me exactly at 8pm every night.

Was the Routine Change Easy?

Well, not really, as I have never been a morning person. Also, I never had a set routine before. Getting a dog made me realize how important it is to have a set routine every day. Especially for a dog parent, as dogs enjoy the same routine every day. My dog was used to waking up early; every day, it would also wake me up. Initially, I found it hard to really wake up that early. But the constant pawing meant she had to go out to relieve herself, which I could not ignore. While this was annoying initially, you get used to it over time.

Honestly, I still feel like getting extra sleep some mornings, but my dog ensures I stick to the routine and wake up. It is not all bad, but I get annoyed a few days later. On the upside, I get to walk every morning without fail, and this routine has helped me stay productive the entire day. Once I am back from the back, I feel fresh and energized, which helps me stay that way most of the day. While the routine change was difficult, it benefited me.

Should Everyone Get a Dog to Stay Fit?

Firstly, your intention of getting a dog should not be only this. There should be many more reasons why you feel you would adopt a dog. Staying active when you’re a dog owner is an additional advantage, I would say, but not the primary reason why you get a dog.

If your intention is to stay fit, you can do it even without owning a dog. You might even find more time to dedicate to fitness if you do not get a dog, as it is a big responsibility. A dog does help you stay active, but you also need to be ready to take its financial and health responsibility. A dog needs a lot of attention. You will be a bit restricted in your movement as dogs cannot be left alone for several hours, etc. Hence, only consider getting a dog if you are passionate about owning one.

Do I Regret My Decision to Owning a Dog?

I would not lie. In the initial days, I did feel quite overwhelmed. The sudden change in my routine and the additional responsibility seemed too much to handle. I spent sleepless nights wondering if I should find a new home for my dog. It felt scary, as I was unsure if I could keep up with the new routine, and I wanted the best for the dog. But, the thought of parting way with my dog, whom I got so attached to, pushed me to stick to the new routine.

A few years have passed, and honestly, I cannot be happier that I own a pet who is so loyal to me, loves me unconditionally, and ensures I stay healthy.

The Bottom Line- Balance is the Key:

Owning a large breed dog that is agile and needs a lot of exercises can push you to be active, but there will be days when you just cannot devote that much time. Even you need breaks. Ensure to share responsibilities with your family so that no individual feels burdened. Get contacts of a dog walker, kennel, and a dog sitter. This will come in use when you absolutely cannot find time for the dog. It also helps the dog socialize with others, which is great for mental development. You cannot do everything every day for the dog. Sharing responsibilities is the key to staying mentally fit along with good physical health.