This article is contributed by guest writer, Ane G. (Creator ofDog Club Life).
10 Tips on How To Keep Your Dog Happy
Owning a dog is a HUGE responsibility. Dogs are like toddlers; they’ll find ways to occupy their time, and they could be very destructive when you leave them alone! That is why it’s essential to engage your dog in fun activities that will benefit both their physical and mental health.
Your primary goal as a responsible pet owner is ensuring your dog’s physical and mental well-being. We know it isn’t that simple, especially if you lead a busy life. To help you out, we’ve put together 10 tips on how to keep your dog happy.
1. Prioritize exercise
Dogs get tremendous benefits from regular exercise. Exercise provides the basic foundation for their physical health.
Every once in a while, go on micro adventures and hike that nearby mountain or go camping. Your dog will benefit from all the exercise.
An inactive dog could potentially have health problems due to inactivity-like obesity and obese dogs are more prone to having heart disease, high blood pressure, and other high-risk health issues.
If you give your dog more chances to stay active, your dog can avoid these issues and have a longer and happier life! Also, you’ll benefit from having a well-exercised dog, because tired dogs are more disciplined and more confident.
2. Mental stimulation
Just like a little kid, your dog needs to explore the world! When you take them out they explore the sights, smells, and sounds of their environment. Dogs are instinctual and interactive. They will always look for chances to experience something new.
When you go out for walks or other activities, give your dog time to sniff around. It’s an important part of their dog life. They parse information around them through smelling and allowing them to do so stimulate them mentally.
3. Socialize your pup
One of the easiest ways to socialize your dog is to invite them along for a social gathering. Tag your dog along when you visit a family member or a friend. Giving dogs a chance to hang out with your friends and family is a good physical and mental exercise for them too.
Also, if your dog is well-socialized and enjoys the company of other pets, you can let your pup play at a local dog park. But remember to take your dog’s personality into account when socializing them with other dogs to ensure safety and comfortability.
4. Snuggle on the couch!
Snuggling is not just good for your pet, it’s good for you too! Snuggling reduces stress hormones in your body which as a result makes you feel healthier, happier, and feel relaxed!
Just like average humans, dogs need some love too! The next time your dog lies down and rolls onto his back, be sure to give him an affectionate rub- he would love it!
5. Respect his own space
Just like humans, dogs not only need togetherness but alone time too. Even the most social dog may want to have some time to themselves.
Make sure your dog has a “safe zone” where he can retreat to, off-limits to humans, especially during big events like birthday parties where a lot of kids are running around and shouting.
Too much stimulation can be stressful for dogs. When they live in a household full of stimulation and high-stress situations, they’ll need quiet time to recover.
6. Remain calm around your dog
Your dog’s safety starts with you. Dog’s will take cues from their owners and rely on them for most of their needs. So if you behave uneasy or anxious during times of crisis, your dog’s fight or flight response will kick in and may result in aggressive behavior towards other dogs and humans.
To make sure you are prepared for situations like this, plan regular training that targets specific skills that will help you control your dog during emergencies. Also, try your best to keep a calm demeanor as a pack leader because your feelings will surely affect the way your dog feels.
7. Massage your dog
Everybody loves a good massage! It relieves stress and relaxes our mind and body, and the same can be true for dogs.
Dog massage is a great way for dogs to wind down, alleviate joint and muscle pains, improve their body circulation and flexibility, and it could also build a good bond between you and your dog!
Just a few tips when massaging your dog:
- Make sure that your dog is calm before you start
- Begin by petting
- Use gentle motions
- Give treats!
8. Compliment your dog
Giving your dog a genuine compliment paw-sitivity boost! The positive acknowledgment that you give your dog on a daily basis will strengthen your relationship. Just like treats, good feedback will encourage your dog to do the right thing.
Start a compliment by giving a verbal reward. You can say “good boy” or “good job.” Then pat your dog on the head or rub his belly. Finally, give your pup a treat. You can also try changing up their treat or be inventive and make some homemade dog treats. Your dog will surely love it!
9. Visit the vet regularly
A healthy dog is a happy dog! It’s critical to visit the vet to maintain your dog’s physical health. Make sure your pup has a regular checkup to ensure you are updated with an overall health screening and vaccinations. Puppies and older dogs should visit every six months, while adult dogs under the age of 10 can visit at least once a year.
It’s also important to choose a vet you trust, and one that treats your dog well. If your dog fears vet visits, try giving him treats and compliments before and after your visits. This will somehow tell him that good things happen when you visit the vet.
10. Good oral hygiene
Are you one of the many pet owners who do not brush their dog’s teeth? Regular tooth brushing is highly recommended for dogs to prevent tooth loss, bad breath, pain, and organ damage. Do not ignore one of the most important parts of your pet’s overall health!
You can boost your dog’s oral hygiene by giving him dental treats designed to promote good oral health or have his teeth checked during one of your vet visits.
In your everyday busy life, make sure to take some time to cuddle, pamper, or tickle your dogs. They deserve all the love you can give! No matter how small of a gesture it may be, find a way to return their unconditional love.