6 Ways to Think Like a Dog

If we could all do these things, life would be so much easier, don’t you think?

Dogs don’t seem to worry about much. Maybe we can all take a cue from them and have a little more fun in life. By: eli416

One of my favorite clients recently wrote a social media post about me, conveying that she appreciated me because I thought — and acted — like a dog.

Hmmm. I like to think I know how to communicate with dogs, but do I think like a dog?

Most of us humans can’t do this, but even if we just try to think like our canine companions, we might live better lives and be better dog people. Or better people all around.

After thinking like a human about it for a while, I jotted down a list of things we can all learn from dogs and apply them to our own lives. And who knows? Doing so may just create a better world to live in.

1. Live in the Moment

  • Stop and smell the roses…or whatever the heck you want to smell.
  • Stop and lie down in a field — or just keep running.
  • Stop and look up at the sky. Don’t worry about the next thing that might happen.
  • Go back to your happy place and go to sleep, if you feel like it.

2. Appreciate Unconditional Love and Companionship

  • Know that your favorite people in the world give you unconditional love.
  • Know you can get a massage whenever you ask for one.
  • Know your next meal will come — and you won’t have to work for it.
  • Know that when you are hurt, you will be taken care of.
Living in the moment is definitely one thing we can all learn from dogs. By: shihwa

3. Understand, Then Forget, the Bad Things

  • If an accident is your fault, you know you will be forgiven.
  • If you can’t help having more accidents or making more mistakes, know you will get help.
  • If you’ve done a really bad thing, you have the chance to get rehabilitated.
  • If you stop doing the bad things, feel good about yourself.

4. Adore Food — And Don’t Feel Guilty About It

  • Eat that next meal or snack without guilt.
  • Eat any food with “in the moment” joy.
  • Eat and know that when the meal is done, it is done, and you have to wait for the next one.
  • Eat that great treat after you’ve done a great thing and been rewarded.
  • Eat and act like you’re adorable, even if you’re a few pounds overweight.
  • Eat and never worry about seasonal clothes.

5. Don’t Worry About Tomorrow

  • Put your head on the pillow and fall asleep immediately.
  • Feel comfort when your best friends finally settle down at night, and try to sleep too.
  • Wake up in the middle of the night and wander around the house — and sleep on any bed or couch that suits you.
  • Get up in the morning as if it’s the first day of your life again.
  • Never feel guilty about taking a nap, even if you’ve had a great night’s sleep.

Dogs can learn things from us, too. Check out some of their flattering attempts at imitating humans:

6. Don’t Feel Superior

You know you have it all figured out, but don’t let this infect the space between those adorable ears. Think about your housemates and not yourself all the time. Maybe they:

  • Had a bad day at the dog park
  • Ate something they shouldn’t have, and it made them sick
  • Bit off more than they could chew
  • Bit a housemate in the rear — but didn’t really mean it

After all, we are all simple creatures, when you get right down to it. We need to think in the realm of canine-humanity — or caninity, as I like to call it. This will help us not only feel better about ourselves but also be more compassionate toward other humans — and dogs, for that matter.

In the end, I think dogs really have it figured out. Those of us in the human category are put here simply to learn from them.


This pet health content was written by a veterinarian, Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD. It was reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Pippa Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, and was last updated Oct. 13, 2018.

Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD

View posts by Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD
Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD, is a small animal and exotics veterinarian who has split her time between a veterinary practice in Pelham, Massachusetts, and her studio in New York City. Dr. Lichtenberg is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine with 30 years of experience. Her special interests are soft tissue surgery and oncology.

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