Dogs, like many animals, are extremely aware of the moods and emotions we’re experiencing. They are so connected with us that studies have shown they often feel what we do feel. That means, if you become nervous or stressed out, your dog will be too.
Of course, feelings of stress are not pleasant for anyone–including our pets. Decades of research and experience have shown us that stress can lead to health problems for us and it can impact our pets in the same way.
Different people have their own way of dealing with stress, meditation being a popular choice. The benefits of meditation are no secret. Along with helping alleviate stress, meditation can help improve focus and memory, boost the immune system and is a great way to induce a natural sense of calm.
So, since your dog is in-tune to your moods and emotions, you might consider meditating with your dog in order to help relieve their stress and anxiety too.
Many people are getting in on this trend and meditating with your dog is now the latest craze in meditation because of that–but how does it work?
How to Meditate with Your Dog
Meditating with your dog is simple and can be done sitting or lying down. To get started, find a quiet, comfortable place and add music if you like. Gently place one hand on your dog’s chest and the other on their lower back. Begin to focus on their breathing. Letting your pet take the lead, join in the rhythm of their breathing. Close your eyes as you continue, feeling their fur underneath your hands, and the motion of their chest moving up and down. Do this for just a few minutes every day, gradually increasing the time as the two of you get accustomed to it.
Meditating with Your Dog for the First Time
Perhaps your dog is hyper and the thought of her/him being calm enough to meditate with you sounds absurd. It may take a few tries and in the first session your dog may be more curious about what you’re doing and attempt to get you to play. Don’t worry, that is completely normal. If it helps, give your dog a chew toy as a calming device the first few times.
The key to meditating with your dog is to make her/him feel relaxed. A great way to start is while the two of you are sitting together on the couch, rather than watching television, play some meditation music. Gently lay your hand on their chest and try to match the breathing pattern of your dog as you inhale and exhale, bringing the two of you in sync. While trying to get both you and your dog accustomed to this new habit, consider your dog’s daily routine, choosing a time of day when she/he typically naps. Like people, dogs are creatures of habit and have certain blocks of time during the day where energy levels are higher than others. Be flexible in the beginning and look for opportunities where you can practice with short sessions that last only a few minutes.
Designate a Special Place
Along with finding the best time of day to meditate with your dog, having a special place where you can meditate will help both of you get into a routine. Create a spot with pillows or blankets for plenty of comfort. Before you know it, you and your dog will have a ritual of meditating together. And, you’ll likely notice that you both will be sharing the same breathing pattern throughout the day, which will strengthen the connection between the two of you.
Benefits of Meditating with Your Dog
Your dog is completely dependent on you for their well-being and happiness. Starting a meditation routine with your pet on a regular basis, not only will make you both feel calmer, but you’ll be positively influencing the health of your pet. Below are some of the benefits of meditating together.
#1 Your Energies Will Synchronize
Meditation naturally induces a state of calm and when you practice it with your pet, your energies will become more harmonized. Every living being is made up of energy and that energy is not limited to the body. That’s why it’s possible to sense both tension or calm when walking into a room. Animals are naturally attracted to calm, which is why some are naturally drawn to certain people. As you meditate together, your energies will be more in-tune, drawing positive energy from each other.
#2 Nurtures Trust and Safety
Your dog relies on you and looks to you for safety. Whatever emotions you’re experiencing in a day, your dog will sense and ultimately begin experiencing them as well. Meditation works to re-center and ground your dog just as it does for you, so by taking part in it together, you’ll strengthen your bond and create a safe nurturing environment.
#3 Improves Communication
As meditating with your dog becomes a habit and you develop a regular routine, your bond will strengthen. Enjoying the pleasures of tranquility together will produce a calm environment and can improve the confidence of a fearful dog.
#4 It Can Calm a Hyper Dog
While your dog is susceptible to experiencing the same emotions that you’re feeling, they are naturally drawn to peaceful energies. Have you ever been meditating with your dog nearby and by the end of the session they are sitting next to you? Or, what about when you wake up in the morning and your pet is snuggled up so closely that you’re being pushed off the bed? That’s because they are in-tune to your emotions, and when you’re calm they enjoy being close enough to tap into your energy while also enjoying the warmth of being next to you.
Dogs Make Meditation Easier
It has been said that dogs are natural meditators; because they are routinely living in the moment regardless of the activity they’re involved in. Whether they’re playing, relaxing or sleeping, they’re totally engaged. Some people discover that meditation is easier with their dog because it offers a different way of focusing. Rather than closing your eyes and visualizing something obscure, when meditating with your dog, it’s much easier to concentrate on matching their breathing pattern. Because it is such an easy process, before you know it you’re meditating together. For individuals who struggle to meditate, they find that having their pet join them in the process, makes sessions much more productive.
Additionally, you may think meditating with your pet in a group environment would be impossible, but since your pets pick up on your calm energy, they are able to enjoy a communal mediation.Back in November of 2018 we hosted our first Deep Belly Pet Meditation Pop Up Event. With the guided wisdom of Amanda Ree from SamaDog.com – owners, dogs, and even a cat named Oliver-Everette, came to meditate and enjoy some sound healing vibes. Check out pictures from the event here!