Mindful Mondays: Meditation with your pets

Written by Trisha Bhullar

Ever seen cute Instagram pictures of people meditating with their pets? Pet meditation seems like a fun activity that entertains both pets and their human owners, but does it actually have any mindful benefits? This guide goes through the basics of meditation with your pets, and the surprising benefits you could stand to enjoy.

What is pet meditation?

This refers to the act of practising meditation with your pets. This is a great form of mindfulness for individuals looking to switch up their meditation routine, or people who find it difficult to focus when meditating on their own. Mindfulness with pets often begins with regular breathing exercises. Unlike standard breathing techniques, however, pet meditation involves feeling your pet’s heartbeat instead of focusing on your own breath. Owners who are close to their pets often find it more intuitive to focus on their pet’s breathing than their own. This makes it much easier for them to engage in mindfulness through their pets.

What type of pet meditation exercises are there?

Just as there are countless of ways humans can practise meditation, there are plenty of ways for you to practise mindfulness with your pets. These meditation exercises are often adaptations of classic meditation techniques.

Pet Scan Mindfulness, for example, is a cute spin on the classic Body Scan Meditation technique. The traditional technique involves you focusing on your breathing while centralising your senses on different parts of your body, similar as to how a body scan works. The pet twist to this is focusing on your pet’s body instead. You could even try incorporating meditation walks with your pets or pet yoga. Depending on how obedient your pet is and how creative you may be with your mindfulness routine, there are truly endless ways you could try out mindfulness with your pets.

Are there any benefits to this form of meditation?

Pet meditation sounds incredibly fun, but does it actually have any mindful benefits? This form of meditation actually offers all the standard benefits derived from traditional meditation. This includes emotional benefits such as improved moods, heightened focused and a sense of calm. Additionally, meditation provides a range of physical benefits including a boost to immunity and increased prevention of conditions like heart disease.

Besides this, pet meditation sometimes offers even more on top of the benefits of standard meditation. This typically applies to individuals who find traditional meditation to be unengaging and repetitive. Practising mindfulness with pets puts the meditator in an even better mood, thus boosting emotional and mental wellbeing even more. Moreover, this form of meditation adds colour to your standard meditation routine. It even improves owner-pet bonding in the case of more astute pet species.

Could my pet benefit from meditation with me?

Meditating with pets brings a huge assortment of benefits to owners, but what about benefits for your pet? Although research is still underway on the benefits of meditation for pets, meditation generally benefits our anxious tiny friends. Anxious dogs, for example, are more calm, confident and soothed after a session of meditation. Regardless of whether you have a furry friend or not, meditation undoubtedly helps pets feel closer to their owners. It’s a time where they get undivided love and attention, which goes a long way in making them happier.

Happiness for you and your tiny friends

Mindfulness brings benefits to both owners and their pets. It’s a great way to boost emotional health and physical wellbeing while having a tonne of fun. If you find yourself getting bored during this period of self-isolation, grab your pet and try out pet meditation for a more mindful bonding experience.