What Makes Dogs Happy?

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We tend to think of dogs as always being on top of the world, always living their best lives. But this isn’t the case — just like humans, dogs can be unhappy. Thankfully, ensuring that dogs are happy is a relatively straightforward task. After all, they do seem to be hardwired to experience happiness, just as humans are. As a pet owner, it’s your job to ensure that you’re ticking all the boxes that your dog needs to have its tail wagging more frequently than not. In this blog, we’ll run through the essential elements that’ll put your loveable pooch on the right path towards happiness and satisfaction.

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Unlike humans, you can’t expect your dog to be driven by an inner flame of happiness, not always, anyway. They get their value from the love of those around them. Giving them this value isn’t an impossible task — it’s just a matter of giving attention! It feels nice as humans when others recognize our existence, and the same can be said of dogs. If they’re looking for a bit of interaction, give it to them — it can give them that little dose of happiness that all sentient creatures love.

Some Play Time

It’s a good idea to view your dog as if they were a small child, especially when they’re young. And what do small children love to do? They love to play! Your dog will love engaging in some fun games with you, so look at setting some time aside each day to give them what they want. It’s not always tempting to play fetch when you’re tired from a day at the office, but it’s an important part of being a dog owner. Plus, it’ll make you happy too.

Mixing With Other Dogs

You can’t be all things to your dog. You might be the most important creature in their lives, but you’re unlikely to be the only creature that they want to interact with. Plus, there are just some things that you, as a human, cannot give them. They’ll get something special from spending time with their own kind, so look at visiting the dog park from time to time. They’ll likely make friends that make their happiness levels spike every time they’re together. It’s recommended to start the socialization process as early as possible, so they get used to being around other dogs. In addition to helping your dog feel happy, you’ll find that spending time at dog parks also helps you to make new friends.

Positive Feedback

Everyone likes to be acknowledged for a job well done. If your dog does something that you approve of, then show them! Dogs love to make their owners happy, and seeing that you’re happy will in turn give them those warm and fuzzy feelings. Plus, this is just a good way to reinforce good behavior. If they perform exceptionally well, then be sure to give them a special treat. If they make their owner happy and get a tasty snack to boot, they’ll be on cloud nine.

Slow Walking

You’ll know that you need to walk your dog a couple of times a day. However, it’s important to check that you’re walking them in the right way. If you just speed walk your way through the walk so you get home as soon as possible, then that’s not going to be enjoyable for your dog. They’ll just be settling into the walk before they’re home again. Rather than sticking to a set route for your walks, look at going for a set amount of time. You won’t care how slow you walk if you know you’ll be home in thirty minutes or so regardless. This will give your dog a chance to smell scents without always having to rush.

A Cozy Bed

You know how you love crawling into your awesome bed at the end of a long day? Well, the same can be said for any creature that values comfort — and that’s a description that certainly applies to dogs. If you’re not comfortable with letting your dog sleep with you in bed (a particular issue for light sleepers or people with large dogs), then look at getting them their own place to sleep. This can make it easier to make your pet go to sleep at a set time and ensure that they’re fully comfortable at the same time. There are plenty of quality dog beds on the market, but the truth is that you don’t need to spend a lot to make your dog happy at night. So long as it’s cozy and very much “theirs,” then they’ll be happy.

Toys to Play With

Toys, toys, toys — dogs love them. If they were in the wild, they’d be gathering their favorite collection of sticks, acorns, and anything else that they could get their hands on. They’re more than things just to play with — they’re comfort items, ones that make them feel happy and safe. Look at getting your dog a toy that they themselves have picked out. There’ll come a point when it becomes too rotten and must be thrown away, at which point you’ll have to navigate the tricky task of getting them to accept a new toy. It’s best to give them a collection of toys, so there’s no emphasis on one single item.

Delicious Food

If you know anything about dogs, then you’ll know that they love to eat. They’re all about those delicious flavors. And just as you wouldn’t be happy eating bargain cereal for every meal, so too your dog will not be happy if they’re only eating basic dog food all the time. Of course, you can’t give them steak for dinner each night (sure they’d love it, though!), but you can ensure that you’re buying quality lamb dog food that is both delicious and good for them. Plus, by giving them tasty meals, you’ll limit the frequency with which they ask for your food (they’ll still do it — just not as much!).

Good Health

OK, it’s fair to say that going to the vet will not be your dog’s favorite activity. They’re unlikely to be happy while they’re there — in fact, the opposite is true. They’ll likely be shaking their cute little paws. But if you want your dog to be happy, then it’s essential that you attend those regular checkups. The thirty minutes that they’re at the vet will suck for them, but it’ll help to prevent issues that could impact their happiness further down the line.

Bend-Ruling Moments

You’ll need to establish clear rules that your dog will understand. You need to be the one in charge, after all. If you let your dog take control, then it won’t be long before you’re dealing with a lot of trouble. So yes, rules are important. But it’s also recommended to occasionally bend those rules, once they’re fully set in your dog’s mind. For example, while you won’t want to give them snacks every day, the odd treat from the frying pan is fine. Similarly, don’t be too strict about limiting the amount of work you have to do. You might not love having to clean your dog after they’ve been splashing around in muddy water, but just think about how happy that act of dirty chaos will make them.

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Cuddling on the Couch

You know how you love curling up on the couch to watch a movie with your partner? Well, your dog loves it too. There’s really nothing better than being on a warm and cozy couch when the weather outside is a little chilly. Trying to keep your dog off the couch will just cause them unhappiness, so this is a rule that shouldn’t exist. There are dog-friendly couch materials if you’re worried about harming your furniture.

A Happy Owner

Did you know that your dog will be much happier if you yourself are happy? Dogs tend to mood match — if you’re feeling down or anxious, then they will be too. Of course, you can’t always force yourself to be happy. Everyone feels down from time to time. The key is to do the things that increase your chances of happiness. If you work out, eat well, and do things that you enjoy, then you’ll be in a more positive frame of mind, and your dog will pick up on it. In fact, if your dog is beginning to seem down, then it’s a good idea to check in with yourself to see how you’re doing.

All the Love

Finally, perhaps the easiest way to make your dog happy — fill them up with all the love in the world! A dog’s capacity for love is basically endless, and if you give them plenty of love, then you’ll get it back tenfold. It’s easy to take our dogs for granted from time to time, but just think about how much they add to your life, and you’ll find that giving them some forehead kisses is the least that they deserve.

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Master reviewer of all types of products. Love XL Fountain Sodas!! Cheer Mom extraordinaire. Socialite to all things small town and founder of Come socialize and connect with me.

2 thoughts on “What Makes Dogs Happy?

  • Dogs are so easy to make happy. It’s one of their very best qualities. 🙂

  • My dog’s happiest moments are when he is at the dog park.

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