Ever wished your dog could just tell you if they were happy? Until we figure out how to speak the same language, we need to learn how to interpret how else your dog expresses emotion.
The first step to a contented canine is ensuring that your dog’s basic and essential needs are being met. This means they should be fed a high quality, whole-food based diet, receive adequate exercise, and have plenty of toys and activities to keep them entertained. As social pack animals, dogs should spend lots of time with their human family ‘pack’, and be given the opportunity to meet and play with other dogs.
But once you have those basic needs taken care of, how else do you know if your dog is happy? There are 5 main indicators that your dog is living a contented, joy-filled life:
- Body language: Dogs have incredibly expressive bodies. Happy dogs show this emotion through their entire body – with bright eyes, a relaxed mouth, engaged ears, and a wagging tail. Wagging tails are often viewed as the doggy equivalent of human smiles. Sometimes the wagging becomes so intense, that your dog’s entire body joins in with the movement, swaying excitedly from side to side.
- Good appetite: While some dogs can be fussy about what they eat, happy dogs enjoy their food. Like us, dogs enjoy variety, so occasionally change the flavour of their food to prevent boredom. Don’t forget to also add Dig-In Digestive Gravy Powder, to give your dog’s meal a boost in nutrition and flavour.
- Well behaved: A confident dog is happy, well-mannered, and friendly. Teaching your dog basic commands, following a set meal routine, and rewarding good behaviour, all help your dog to know their role in the family pack. Content dogs are unlikely to chew on your shoes, destroy your garden or spend lots of time alone sulking. Instead, a happy dog will seek out your company, appear bright and alert, and have no trouble drifting off to sleep.
- Healthy: A healthy dog is undoubtedly a happy dog. A dog that is feeling unwell may seem listless, preferring to keep to themselves instead of participating in family life. Looking after the health of your dog means helping them maintain a healthy weight; checking the good condition of their ears, eyes, teeth and coat; visiting the vet for regular checkups; and staying current with their flea, tick and worm treatments.
- Active: While the age of your dog obviously plays a part, a happy dog will be active for most of the day – exploring the yard, playing with toys, and hanging out with you. Just as it is for humans, exercise is a great stress reliever for dogs. By giving your dog regular active time – with at least one daily walk and some interactive play time with you – you’ll help them to burn off excess energy and sleep more soundly.
The real secret to a happy dog is to help them live a fulfilled life. That means not only meeting your dog’s basic needs, but finding ways for your dog to actively participate in life. If your dog plays, explores the world on your walks, sleeps soundly, and enjoys spending time with you – then chances are your dog is already living life to the fullest!