How to Make Your Dog Happy

How to Make Your Dog Happy
How to Make Your Dog Happy
7 Tips to a Blissful Dog

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Schedule time for play. Dogs adore playing. My dog Esther needs some coaxing to get into it, but will actually smile once she gets going. I know everyone is busy, but taking 10 minutes out of your day for an impromptu fetch session with a squeaky toy or to hide some treats around your living room is a very quick way to inject some fun into your dog’s day. The best part? Taking some time daily to play will definitely improve your bond.

Always use a happy, friendly voice when you call your dog. Do you feel particularly keen to approach someone using an angry tone of voice? Of course you don’t.

Be consistent. Imagine how confusing this scenario is: your dog whines or jumps up on you. In response, you ignore or even inadvertently reward the behaviour. But then your mom comes over, your dog jumps up on her, and you get mad. Confusing? You betcha. (It’s also extremely counter productive from a training perspective.) Our dogs want to please us. Help them to do so by being consistent with the rules. 

Keep a schedule. Dogs are creatures of habit. My dog Rose starts nosing around for dinner at around 4:45 pm. She’s a bit of a space cadet but she sure knows when to expect dinner! Her regular routine makes her happy, particularly where food is concerned. Furthermore, eating is undeniably one of our dogs’ greatest pleasures; make sure what you’re feeding your dog is the best you can afford.

Put down the phone. This is one many of us are guilty of: we’re in the company of our dogs, whether on a walk, in the living room, or at the dog park, but all of our attention is directed at our phones. I get it; they’re compelling and those alerts notifying you of a text message or Facebook comment are darn near impossible to resist. I’m not going to leave my phone at home, but what I started doing is turning my phone on silent for the duration of our outings so my dogs can benefit from the full focus of my attention. They’re why I’m out there to begin with, after all.

Make sure he gets enough exercise. Many behavioural problems are the result of boredom. Make sure your dog gets a chance to stretch his legs, run off some energy, and mix and mingle with the world a minimum of two times a day. You wouldn’t want to be cooped up in the house all day either.

Make sure he has several comfy places to relax, some where the family convenes and others tucked away should he want some quiet time. Dogs spend a lot of their day sleeping—up to 18 hours!—so make sure your dog has a comfortable place to catch some zz’s. This is of particular importance if your dog’s a senior.

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