If you are a dog owner, you’ll know just how happy your canine companion makes you. But you should also know that you need to make your dog just as happy. When you own a dog (or any kind of pet), it should be a symbiotic relationship; you both get something from the other. In order for this to happen, you need to work out how to make your dog just as happy as they make you. If you’re not sure where to stay, don’t worry; there are lots of options, and there is going to be something to suit you and your dog perfectly. Read on for some great ideas on how to make your dog happy so they can go on making you happy for many years to come.
Go On Longer Daily Walks
As a responsible dog owner, you’re already going to be taking your beloved pet on at least one walk every day, and possibly two or even three. However, for most people, these will be short walks that have to be fitted in around everything else they are doing. It might be a quick trip to the local park or even a short stroll around the block. This is not a problem – your dog needs exercise and fresh air, and that’s what you’re giving them. However, it’s also a good idea to try to fit in longer walks when you can.
Everyone is busy, but there is sure to be one day a week when you have a little more time. Perhaps on a Sunday afternoon or a Saturday morning – perhaps you have a day off in the week or maybe you work from home and have flexible hours. Whatever your situation, look at your diary and carve out time for some longer dog walks. These should be upwards of an hour, and ideally, two or more hours of good walking and having fun. Even if you can only fit this in once a week, it’s a great way to get some exercise for yourself, to bond more with your dog, and make them as happy as possible. Your dog is going to appreciate any walk you take with them, but really the longer, the better.
Feed Them Quality Food
Dog food is not all the same, and some are definitely better than others. The best thing you can do if you want to make your dog happy is to feed them the right food, so make sure you do plenty of research before you start buying whatever food it is you think is good. It might be that the grocery store’s own brand you’ve been feeding your dog actually has very few nutrients in it and could be causing your dog to have digestive issues. Even if their health is not affected, these processed types of dog food won’t be helping them feel great.
Researching the type of dog food that will suit your pet best will open up your eyes to the potential pitfalls of feeding them, and could save you – and them – a lot of problems in the future. Once you find out if spinach is safe for dogs to eat, for example, you can look for more natural foods that contain this ingredient. Natural food is always going to be the best thing for your dog, but you’ll still need to check the ingredients and how it’s made to be sure it’s going to make them happy.
When people think of having a pet dog, they may well think about all the playing and exercise they’ll have to do. This is, of course, an important part of dog ownership, and it’s something you’ll need to commit to as much as you can.
However, dogs are not on the go all the time, and they’ll need time to relax and sleep just as much as anyone else. You can make your dog happy by providing them with your company when you are able to and helping them relax more because you are with them.
If you don’t like the idea of snuggling up with your dog on the couch, you can sit on the floor with them. Or why not put removable covers on the couch that will mean it doesn’t matter if the dog sheds or has slightly dirty feet. The best thing you can do to make your dog happy is to be with them when they want to relax. So after dinner and their last walk of the day, you can chill out on the couch together. This is all they really want; to spend time with you and have your undivided attention. Since you’ll need this time to relax as well, you can both get something out of this time together and everyone will be happy.
Did you know that dogs can suffer from issues with their self-esteem? Scientists have carried out studies in this area and have determined that dogs who never receive any praise for doing what they perceive to be what their owners want can start to suffer from depression. The longer this goes on, the more unhappy your dog will be.
If your dog does something good, especially if they are doing something you have trained them to do, you must make it your mission to praise them. Give them treats (again, make sure you know exactly what’s in those treats to ensure they are safe and nutritious), or spend some time playing with your dog. At the very least say some kind words and pet them. Not only will this positive reinforcement means they’ll keep behaving well because they enjoy getting your attention and praise, but it will also help your dog feel happier because they feel more confident and will have better self-esteem.
Get Them Toys
You’re not always going to be there to play with and interact with your dog. You might have to work, you might have to go to the store, you might need to take an important phone call or go out for an evening with friends. So although you’ll want to play with your dog as much as you can, there will be times when you simply can’t. In order to make your dog happy even when you’re not there, it’s a good idea to give them toys. You don’t have to spend a fortune on lots of toys all the time, but if their old toys are chewed up and no longer fun to play with, you can replace them to ensure they can entertain themselves for a little while if need be. They’ll love getting these rewards from you, and it’s wonderful as a dog owner to see them so excited to get a little gift.
Some dogs will have a favorite toy they’ll carry around with them and maybe sleep with – just like a small child would. Be aware of this, and even if you’re throwing out other toys, always keep that one. Your dog could become very sad if their comfort toy was missing, and it could be hard to replace it – even if you found one that looks the same, it wouldn’t smell the same.
Mentally Stimulating With Them
By playing games that challenge your dog’s brain, you can keep them happy and healthy – and it will be fun for you too, but these games can also be great at keeping your dog occupied if you have to go out. For example, if you want to test your dog’s resourcefulness the next time you’re going to be gone for a while, try hiding a few treats in various locations around the house and then seeing how many they can discover when you return.
Games and mental challenges are great fun for dogs because they are intelligent animals. They get particularly excited whenever they can put their noses to good use. What could be better than a treasure hunt if, in the end, they find a secret treat?