10 Sweet Ways to Make Your Dog Happy

Have you ever wondered about the psychology behind what makes a dog unhappy or happy? Discover ten ways a pet owner can make their dog happy. It includes everything from praising them for positive behavior to playing interactive and stimulating games with them.

10 Sweet Ways to Make Your Dog Happy

Have you ever wondered about the psychology behind what makes a dog unhappy or happy? Discover ten ways a pet owner can make their dog happy. It includes everything from praising them for positive behavior to playing interactive and stimulating games with them.

How to Make Your Dog Happy

Photo by Kat Smith

A pet owner’s job is to provide food and shelter for their canine companion and make sure they are happy. Dogs, like humans, need love, attention, and mental stimulation to lead a full, fulfilling life. Here are ten things a pet owner can do to make their companion happy.

1. Praise and Reward Positive Behavior

Dogs respond positively to verbal and physical praise, and this is an integral part of positive reinforcement training. Dogs respond best to verbal commands or tones that express affection and care, such as a soft, low-pitched voice. This type of voice is comforting and familiar to them, and they equate it with being praised.

To ensure that your dog understands that you are praising them, use words like “good dog” when petting them. Providing treats as rewards for positive behavior is another way to show your pet how much you appreciate them. Try varying how often you provide the reward so your dog doesn’t become accustomed to responding every time.

Cheerful tones, such as a high-pitched voice, are also effective at conveying praise to your dog. A happy tone of voice will convey to your dog that you want to play with them or that you are pleased with their behavior. Your dog might react by wagging their tail or perking their ears. This will assist your dog in connecting specific behaviors with a content owner.

2. Change Their Daily Exercise Routine

Taking your dog for a walk or a run helps them get the necessary physical activity, but it also allows them to explore their environment, which is mentally stimulating. Try to take them to different parks or off-leash dog areas so that they can explore and stimulate their minds.

A visit to an off-leash park gives a dog the unique opportunity to meet new dogs, explore new smells and have a memorable time in an open environment. This helps to boost their spirits and makes them happier as they can express their natural behaviors without the restriction of a leash.

3. Provide Toys

Toys are an instrumental part of keeping a dog healthy physically and mentally. Many types of toys are available to provide mental stimulation and make dogs happy. Fetch toys such as balls and frisbees are great for interactive play, while enrichment toys like puzzle toys and lick pads keep your dog occupied and mentally stimulated.

Comfort toys like plush toys, squeaky toys, and blankets may also help soothe and bring a sense of security to some dogs, particularly those who suffer from separation anxiety.

One of the most popular toys for dogs is the Kong Classic Dog Toy. It is affordable, reliable, and helpful for keeping dogs engaged. It is made in the USA and recommended by many veterinarians and dog trainers. The toy is stuffable, chewable, and fetchable and can be filled with a variety of dog-safe stuffings and treats.

4. Rotate Their Toys

Dogs are active and energetic creatures that need physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. They can easily get bored if they don't have enough activities or if their toys become too repetitive.

Toys provide a worthwhile source of entertainment and activity for dogs, but they can quickly lose interest in them. To keep your pup engaged and entertained, it is suggested to rotate their toys regularly.

Rotating your dog’s toys every week or two can help keep them interested and excited. By only making four or five toys available at a time and then switching up the selection, you can prevent your dog from getting bored with them. It is also helpful to make sure you have a variety of types of toys, such as interactive toys, comfort toys, and food-dispensing toys.

5. Play Games Together

Games like fetch, tug-of-war, and hide-and-seek are helpful for bonding with your pup. Not only are they fun, but they also help keep your dog’s brain active.

Hide and seek is a great workout for dogs, both physically and mentally. It stimulates their instincts and reinforces positive training, while also strengthening the bond between the dog and its owner.

Dogs love the thrill of finding their owners and being rewarded with praise and affection when they do so. The game of hide and seek also enables them to act on their instinct to hunt, track and trail, making it an enjoyable and rewarding activity.

6. Give Them a Job to Do

Dogs love to work, so giving them something to do (like fetching the newspaper or bringing you slippers) can make them very happy.

Fetching a pair of slippers isn't an enjoyable job for us, but for your dog it is. That's because they are rewarded with praise, physical affection, and treats for correctly completing tasks, making them happy and eager to please.

Furthermore, dogs often bond with the people they work with, creating strong emotional connections that help to reinforce the feeling of satisfaction that comes with completing a job.

7. Make the Indoors Fun

Provide your pup with plenty of interactive toys, like treat-dispensing puzzles and chew toys, so they can stay busy when they’re inside.

Keep them entertained when they're home alone. If you're planning to be apart for an extended period make sure your pup has plenty of activities to keep them entertained.

8. Explore Tasty Treats

Treats are a simple way to reward appropriate behavior and keep your dog happy. Try different types of treats and find out which ones your pup likes best.

Aside from commercial treats, some human foods that are safe for dogs, which can be given to them as treats include:

  • Peanut butter (as long as it does not contain xylitol)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Apples (cut up and remove the seeds and core)
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potato (cooked, with skin removed)
  • Salmon (cooked)
  • Eggs
  • Oatmeal (as long as your dog isn't sensitive to grains)

9. Give Them Cuddles

Dogs crave human touch and giving them cuddles, belly rubs, and ear scratches will go a long way in making them feel loved.

However, it is essential to realize that not all dogs enjoy such physical contact all the time. Some dogs may crave more alone time than others. It is helpful to recognize the signs your pet may be giving you when they want some space.

Signs that your dog wants some alone time can include a lack of enthusiasm or avoidance when being petted. This can include a sudden change in posture, or even turning away from you. If your dog is showing signs of anxiety or distress when receiving cuddles or belly rubs, it is wise to give them some space to relax and recharge.

10. Take "Sniffy Strolls"

Dogs have an extraordinary sense of smell, so taking them on a "sniffy stroll" can make them happier by letting them learn a lot about their surroundings. Let the dog lead the way and take as much time to smell as it would like.

Sniffing on walks is possibly the most effective way to reduce stress and help dogs feel more relaxed and content. Allowing your dog the chance to explore and take in all their surroundings through their noses is a surefire way to make them the happiest they can be.

Make Your Dog Happy Today!

Dogs experience a range of emotions, including fear, anger, disgust, joy, and sadness. They can also feel more nuanced emotions like excitement, anxiety, distress, shyness, anticipation, and even love. If a dog is feeling unhappy, possible reasons include boredom, loneliness, lack of exercise, poor diet, or feeling unappreciated.

Psychologically, what makes a dog happy can be hard to define, but one thing is certain: dogs crave love and attention from their owners. Spending quality time with your pup, talking to them in a soothing voice, giving them treats, and providing them with mental and physical stimulation are all excellent ways to ensure your pooch is living a joyful, fulfilling life.

Sources and Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2023 Louise Fiolek

(Excluding for the Headline, this article ("story") has not been edited by MiBiz News and is published from a web feed or sourced from the Internet.)