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Most important health tool and it's free

Fundamentally we have a few things we can't change or fake that we need to live a healthy life. Our dogs are the same in this need.

Its food



and sleep.

We are part of this world and work together with it . Dogs are perfect pets as they sleep at night and are awake in the day well most of it depending on other factors . Imagine if our pets where elephants apart from them taking up all the sofa they would be awake most of the night . The universe works the sun goes down. The darkness is a trigger so that we produce a hormone called melatonin and we sleep till the sun comes up we get up and live life until we need to sleep again .

That is how its meant to work.

Others have to work nights and give themselves time during the day to sleep. Others sleep different times often very late, that's ok don't stress about it, it will make it worse as long as you give yourself enough quality sleep.

Mostly the majority ..

We watch tele while we fall asleep on the chair, we go to bed and some still watch tele or play with their phones. Checking emails, work and the news. The rooms aren't dark enough . Our bodies are confused, our sleep isn't deep enough or gets into the right cycles. We wake up tired, we wake up unrested, depressed, we wake up with our bodies not as repaired as it could be. We wake up older in every way . Physically, mentally health and looking. Then we reach for the phone or even turn the tele back on. Some of us haven't even seen the natural light the triggers the wake us up and rule the day .

Why do we sleep?. We run busy lives who has the time. This is the most important time, we turn off and get ready for the day to start. The cells in our body repair and grow. The "mechanics" of the body isn't using energy, thinking, working, listening, looking, digesting food it's the time for us and our dogs to rest and repair .

We can somewhat push this time to the limits. With our busy life or at least the busy in our minds the consent voice, noise, images and information. We get up tired and go to bed sometimes so tire we can't sleep. We think we don't need all that wasted time, if we get ill we have meds for that right ? who needs the body to repair itself . We do and so do our dogs. We go to bed on a full stomach . We go to bed in the middle of the night when the dark we need for our bodies is almost over. We get old, we get tired we get ill .

If we aren't careful we do it to our dogs too. Dogs know its dark they sleep they have the same melatonin hormone we do. They evolved from wake when the sun rises, they hunt (exercise, ) nap, kill and eat. We then breed them to work. Gave them jobs which gave them the exercise and skills they lost hunting and killing their food. Now their world is now run by you and me. We have a responsibility to give them the best we can. We choose when they go to bed in darkness or not, we choose if they see the daylight during the day , we choose when they eat, when they exercise. What way they walk, when they pee. Let them have a say in what they know they need. We could even learn a thing or two from it . They also can not produce enough melatonin if they don't have the trigger of darkness letting their bodies know. Most dogs will make their sleep up taking many naps, but we must also ask ourselves are they tired from not having quality sleep or are they bored. Only you know what your dog is like. Some dogs don't see the daylight till a few hours after they are awake they spend most of the day in unnatural light with curtain blinds drawn. Its important they know where they are in the suns cycle. The dogs internal clock workings don't know when its night or day . They too get tired get old quicker and more unhealthy don't heal enough.

What can we do then

We can get melatonin as a drug made in a lab . That costs us, are generally safe, but can give side effects, they can interfere with some other drugs. It's not a bad thing as its important to sleep so some people need this drug. There are doggie melatonin products do not give the human supplement as this is often made with xylitol which is very poisonous to dogs .We can often produce less melatonin with age too. Always ask a doctor or vet first

First try a few things out

Foods can be high to natural melatonin

Tart cherries .. dogs can eat cherries but only in small doses and not the pits, seeds and leaves.

Goji berries ....dogs can eat Goji berries they are in fact very good for them but only about 5-10 a couple of times a week

Eggs .... dogs can eat eggs they are very good for them, a great source of vitamin D too . I give farm duck eggs and quail eggs but any egg is good for them . Raw or ver

y lightly boiled so white is cooked and yolk is runny.

Fish especially oily fish .... dogs can eat this and again a very good food giving them and us much needed omega 3. Salmon and sardines, smelt and mackerel .The smaller fish have less mercury.

Milk.... Like us some dogs are lactose intolerant . Give milk is small doses or better still give raw (if you can get it) goats milk. Goats milk is a powerful supplement for dogs

Nuts... dogs can have a very small amount , some are toxic (like black walnut, cashews, macadamia and a few others) so check first, almonds ,walnuts and Brazil nuts are ok in very small crushed dose. They have a very high fat content. Dogs find it hard to cope with and they should be soaked in water overnight to remove the physic acid which binds minerals making them unavailable to the body (dog and humans )

Setting your circadian rhythm

I have heard many people doing this to loose a few unwanted lbs of weight too.

Your body has a built in clock .

Around 20000 nerve cells make up your clock . A clock in your brain . A structure called the suprachiasmatic structure. This sits in the hypothalamus and this controls your circadian rhythms.

Genes and things inside and outside your body can alter this.

Light is the biggest thing. The nerves in your eyes tell your inbuilt clock when its time too sleep. Your body make melatonin and you feel sleepy. The sun shines and your brain produces less melatonin.

Your body changes its cycles as you age .

Early rises and late rises . Night owls have a body clock that runs slower than 24hrs .

So you find it hard waking up and have more energy later in the day and vice versus . You can change this but slowly waking up 15 mins earlier each morning over a week . Its important to do it slowly .

I personally have always been a night owl until someone said they wake up, light a candle sit outside (or looking out the window if its cold) and waiting watching the sun rise. Having a few minutes/ hours to mediate and read, listen to books or music even exercise, yoga. A few hours to calmly be present , appreciate and plan the day. Your time alone with the start of a day. My dog also seamed to like this quiet time too. Certain times of the year l do this (due to mosquitoes) and as a life time night owl 5am became my favorite part of the day. Sometimes switching your mindset can help with the early/late rises.

Try to sleep the same time every night.

Use no cell/ computer light 2-3 hrs before you sleep

Don't eat for a few hours before bed

Clear your mind before you sleep

GO outside see the night

Go outside see the morning ( these are both important to your dogs too)


Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evening

Look forward to the next day .You don't know what it entails you haven't lived it yet .

Some worry, problems start running around their heads (a tip take a pen and paper to bed write down what is worrying you , whether it is definitely going to happen . What would it be like if it doesn't happen . ) The writing problems down will actually free the mind of these. You sleep more relax .Your dogs can smell this worry from you and then they are anxious too .Dogs can actually smell and sense our emotions and mirror then .

As dog/pet owners we are lucky we have a buddy who we can sit and stroke. That alone calms, relaxes and de stresses you and your dog.

Barkley and myself wish you a good night tonight and sweet dreams .

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