Why Your Dog is Your Best Hygge Partner

by Jane McDonald April 21, 2017

Why Your Dog is Your Best Hygge Partner

What is Hygge?

One of 2016’s biggest trends was the introduction of “Hygge” into American culture.  Have you heard of it?  If not, you have now.

Hygge (pronounced hue-gah not hoo-guh) is a Danish word meaning ‘a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being’ according to the Oxford Dictionary. 

Since that is a mouthful, we like to think of it as self-care in the form of togetherness and comforting activities.  Hygge is based in all things domestic and often correlates with activities that evoke inner warmth and groundedness (but really, who doesn't need contentedness year round). Hot tea, scented candles, homemade baked goods all embody hygge, along with time spent in home.  Which brings me to why our fur babies are the very best hygge partners: our dogs are the heart of our homes.

Why Your Dog is Awesome at Hygge

While we hustle off to work or to run errands, tending to the monotonous tasks that come with being human, our dog stays home.  He spends his day curled up in the sun, taking naps and tackling the organic peanut butter you packed in his Kong.  His entire day centers around the pursuit of self-care and comfort - sound familiar?  Yep, your dog is a natural hyggeist!  So when it comes to scheduling some therapeutic self-care for yourself, look to him as your committed hygge partner.

Rest and Relaxation 

You dog understands that a :15 minute cat-nap won’t combat exhaustion from a truly long week.  While napping for 30 to 60 minutes have the benefits of deeper stages of sleep, a 90 minute nap allows you to complete a full sleep cycle, awakening refreshed.  (Bonus: napping this long is shown to boost memory and creativity!)  Not a napper?  Simply spending time resting your body, perhaps focusing on your breathe to clear the mind, is incredibly beneficial.  As you may suspect, R&R does not involve your Smart Phone.  (Unless it is an ambient noise app.)  Your dog doesn’t need one to experience true contentedness and neither do you.

Eat Right

In a country where the most fattening and heavy foods have been dubbed “comfort food,” it may come as a surprise that it is not mashed potatoes, gravy and a pot roast that bring true comfort.  Items such as veggie-rich casseroles, muffins made from scratch and wholesome snacks that give you delicious yet clean energy help you create hygge (not a blue box of mac n’ cheese.)  Isle of Dogs only offers nutrient rich, trustworthy treats for your dog to enjoy while you nom on that fresh berry yogurt parfait.

Love Comes First

Spending time at home with people (and pets) you love is the most important part of practicing hygge.  Whether simply sitting together or enjoying a calming activity like brushing his gorgeous coat with a brush spray scent you both love, togetherness is at the core of hygge.

Declared the happiest country in the world in 2016, hygge is regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture, suggesting we could ALL use a little more hygge in our lives.  Take a page from your pup’s book , set down the iPhone and make time to nap, enjoy nourishing foods and spend time together, basking in the quiet and cozy moments in life.


Jane McDonald
Jane McDonald


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