With gourmet food for dogs and designer clothes too, our dogs are living the high life. But as pampered as they are, are our dogs happy?
They say the best things in life come for free (or at least almost for free). The same goes for our dogs. You don’t have to stretch yourself thin to make your dog happy. All they need is some love and attention.
Here’s a list of 10 simple things you can do to keep your dog healthy and happy for life.
1. Develop your dog’s mental strength
Dogs have an incredible mental capacity, emotional intelligence, and sharp senses. If you let this go untapped, then you are doing a huge disservice to your dog because good mental health leads to overall good health.
You don’t have to go to great lengths to develop your dog’s brain power, it could be as simple as leaving a scent trail that leads to a treat. Or getting your dog activity balls stuffed with their favorite treats. Why don’t you teach your dog new tricks? Remember old dogs can learn new tricks too so don’t leave them out.
If you want to really activate their brain cells you can also enroll your dog into agility classes or any dog sports that are available in your local area. Some good simulation will leave your dog much more cheerful than before.
2. Be consistent with your dog
A constantly reprimanded dog is a very unhappy dog. A lot of times, a dog may be misbehaving because of our lack of consistency. For example, you can’t scold your dog when it jumps on a stranger yet you always pet it whenever it jumps on you. You leave them seriously confused.
Your dog needs guidance in understanding what you want from him. Set clear rules and boundaries and reinforce good behavior with praise. Everyone in the house needs to be in on this so that you can all stop confusing your dog.
With this, the need to scold will reduce considerably and you’ll find yourself petting him for good behavior. Gaining your praise will definitely make your dog happy.
3. Build trust between your dog and you
As a dog parent, you need to understand that your dog looks up to you. Your dog needs to feel secure and comfortable around you. Unknowingly, you may be doing some things that are deterring this by putting your dog in situations that they are not comfortable in.
Be very conscious of who you introduce to your dog and how you react to him. For example, when introducing him to new people, do you tug at his collar a little too hard? Then you are letting your dog associate strangers with pain. So if you keep introducing new people when your dog has been conditioned like that, then you are breaking the trust between you two.
Protect your dog and give him proper guidance, this is what your dogs need so that they can trust you. In your dog’s mind, keep this in mind and don’t let him down. They’ll be much happier around you once you do this.
4. Mix it up when it comes to toys and treats
Guess what? Dogs get bored too. They get tired of playing with the same thing or eating the same thing. So you need to add a little excitement to your dog’s life. Introduce a new toy and a new treat. Don’t throw away the old ones. When your dog gets bored with the new one, the old one might come in handy.
You’ll be surprised with how such a simple thing will make your dog much more cheerful.
5. Let your dog chew, chew, chew
While you have your stress ball, your dog has his chew toy. It’s a really good way for them to deal with their anxiety or stress. Plus, it provides them with a little mental stimulation.
In addition to that, it helps to keep their jaws and their teeth strong so it does contribute to good health. I know you might be thinking that this is still not worth your favorite pair of shoes but you could avoid this by stopping your dog when they are chewing something inappropriate then handing them their chew toy.
Chewing is simply part of a dog’s life, don’t deprive him of that.
6. Watch what your dog eats and drinks
For some people, it may seem ridiculous to watch your dog’s weight. But a healthy weight really does contribute to your dog’s happiness. It won’t limit them during playtime and it will reduce their chances of joint issues and other medical problems. A healthy dog really is a happy dog.
If you need a little help with this, a quick trip to the vet will help you come up with a proper diet for your dog. Try to balance a proper diet with something tasty. Your dog wouldn’t appreciate bland food.
What type of water do you give your dog? Do you consider the purity of the water? Of course, you should. If you love your dog, you can consider giving him or her filtered water. Just as it provides health benefits to your dog and the dog will also enjoy the same benefits.
7. Play more with your dogs
After a long day at work, your dog honestly misses you. You need to set aside time to play with him. It’s good bonding time between the two of you and it is fun. It has some good health benefits for your dog too. It’s good exercise and if you introduce new games, a source of mental stimulation for your dog.
And admit it, you enjoy playtime just as much as your dog.
8. Take a walk with your dog
Again, this is really good bonding time between the two of you. It’s some good exercise for the both of you and it will let your dog experience new people and new sights. This is a good mental simulation and it will allow you to socialize your dog slowly.
Regular walks make for a much happier dog than one that is cooped up at home all the time.
9. Get to know your dog’s personality and socialize your dog accordingly
Some dogs are generally outgoing and friendly to new people and dogs. Others prefer to keep to themselves. You need to know which of the two your dog is and then socialize them accordingly. This could go a long way in keeping your dog happy.
If your dog is a bit of a loner then taking him to crowded dog parks is too much for him while for an outgoing dog, this would be enjoyable. Socialize your dog in a controlled environment when you’re just beginning. Introduce him to calm people and more laid back but focused dogs so that he’s comfortable.
You can only make your dog happy if you know what he likes, so get to know your dog.
10. Change your dog walker
You have a busy work schedule that takes you away from home for long hours. So you hire a dog walker to look after your dog for a while. You need to make sure that your dog isn’t being mistreated while you are away. Even if your dog walker may not hurt your dog physically, they might be a bit neglectful to your dog.
You need to be very careful when you’re hiring because who you leave your dog with could very be the sole reason why he’s so unhappy.
All in all, your dog may be the only one in your life where a little TLC goes along way with him. So don’t hold back with him.