Some New Tips to Make My Dog Happy

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Our dogs are more than “pets”.”They are family.

They bring joy, comfort and unconditional love into our lives every day. Whether they wag their tails, lick their faces or snuggle on the couch next to us, their affection is pure and comforting.

Of course, they have little (Right?) Control over your life. We decide when, where and how to move, what to eat, who to play with and all other decisions, big and small.

One of these big decisions, at least in my opinion, should be this: How can I make my dog happy?

It’s like the least we can do for them, considering what they do for us! So let’s see what happiness is for a dog and how to deliver it every day.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY DOG IS HAPPY?

Dogs and humans have some things in common. Do you remember learning about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? We cannot really feel happy if our basic needs are not met. The same applies to our dogs, and it is our job to meet their needs. This should be the basic line: food, water, warmth, rest and – moving up a notch on the pyramid of needs – security. We should not ask ourselves to provide them to our dogs, and we certainly should not punish them by eliminating one of these needs.

Once this foundation has been established, how do you know if your dog is happy?

Unless you collect salivary data to measure oxytocin levels (if only!) you have to rely on your senses. What are you observing?

Does your dog have a loose and wobbly body?
Are her eyes soft? Instead of a rigid or rigid gaze, is her focus soft?
The barking is happy and joyful instead of angry or defensive – I always think of Cooper’s excited barking when I throw his squeaky toys, as opposed to another dog who has the courage to walk past our house.
Does she have drooping ears? Obviously, this varies depending on the breed, but the raised ears may not indicate a happy and relaxed state.
Is your dog open to games, pets, walks or anything that generally brings joy?

These five things to watch out for are generalizations. They won’t be consistent across races or individuals, but it’s a great place to start. For example, Cooper likes to walk around. If I ask him to leave or grab his leash and he doesn’t jump… it shows me that he is unhappy, painful, sad, something. On the other hand, he really doesn’t like a lot of body affection, so if he resists caresses, well, that doesn’t necessarily tell me anything.

In the context of these questions, think about your dog and see if you can create a happiness profile for your puppy.

On the other hand, do you recognize 5 common signs of Stress in your dog? Also know what signs of stress your dog is giving, and by compiling your solid List of emotional indicators, you can see how your dog is feeling at a glance.

Do you want to dive a little deeper into happiness? Check your dog against “the five freedoms” in this article: is your dog happy?

WHAT REALLY MAKES A DOG HAPPY?

I wrote an article about the five love languages for dogs. There I shared some silly ideas about what could fill your dog’s Cup.

In reality, every dog is very different – just like us humans. What makes me happy (reading in bed after a long day) may not work for someone else (John prefers to watch a Movie).

Common happy dog things include:

  • walks or hikes
  • play sessions with toys
  • Domestic animals
  • Pleasure of the palate
  • cuddling on the couch

But your dog might have something very specific. Maybe it’s floating. Or playing tug of war in the backyard. Maybe your dog spends bananas on frozen yogurt or a soothing massage. Anyway, find something that brightens your dog’s life and take the time to do it as often as possible.

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