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How to Make Your Dog Happy: 16 Effective Ways

Hanh Duong

By Hanh Duong

happy golden retriever

Taking good care of your dog is crucial to being a responsible owner. Dogs bring so much joy into our lives with unconditional love and enthusiastically welcome us when we go home. With the joy our dog brings us, it’s only natural that we want to make our pooches happy too.

You can show your furry friend how much you care about them and ensure they stay happy and healthy in the following ways.

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The Top 16 Tips on How to Make Your Dog Happy

Health Tips

1. Plan Regular Visits to the Vet

It’s vital to schedule regular visits with a vet for overall health screenings and vaccinations to ensure your dog’s optimal health. Puppies and senior canines should visit every 6 months, while adults under 10 can manage once a year. These check-ups also allow discussing and establishing effective hygiene practices such as cleaning ears and teeth. Don’t hesitate to ask your vet about any other concerns you may have regarding your furry friend’s well-being. A healthy dog is a happy dog!

2. Feed Your Dog a Tasty, High-Quality Diet

Just like humans, dogs lead happier lives when they are healthy. So, to ensure your pup’s well-being, it’s crucial to feed them the best food for their breed, age, and size. While choosing top-rated foods considered healthy is vital, you must also remember that dogs have their own taste preferences. Therefore, make sure your pup likes their new food, too.

Golden Retriever dog eating from the food bowl
Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock_

3. Massage

Knowing your dog’s preferred spots to be scratched or patted is very useful. It’s a great way to reward them for good behavior. But why stop there? You can also help them tolerate being touched in other areas by learning doggie massage techniques. Not only will your canine appreciate the relaxation and soothing attention, but massage can also help ease anxiety and soothe tired muscles. With a bit of practice, you can turn your cuddle time with them into a therapeutic experience that benefits both of you.

4. Offer Sufficient Exercise

Did you know that mental stimulation is as important as physical activity for your canine companion? When dogs don’t receive enough exercise, they can become bored and mischievous. To keep your furry friend content and well-behaved, engaging them in activities they enjoy, such as walking, playing fetch, or swimming is crucial. Additionally, pay attention to mental stimulation. Games and toys can significantly enhance your pup’s mental health and happiness.

1dog frisbee
Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay

5. Dental Health

Taking care of a dog’s dental health is essential for their well-being, even if they don’t understand the importance of it themselves. Ignoring their dental hygiene can lead to severe and even life-threatening issues. Although brushing their teeth may seem boring, it is a small effort compared to the potential complications that can arise from neglecting their dental care.

6. Avoid Giving Your Dog Any Table Scraps

Keep in mind the potential risks of sharing table scraps with your furry friends. While it may seem like a fun way to bond with them and make them happy, the truth is that these snacks are often unhealthy and can even be dangerous for your pets. To ensure our furry companions’ continued health and well-being, it’s best to avoid feeding them table scraps altogether.

Cute Samoyed dog eating from bowl at home
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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Exercise Tips

7. Playtime

If you want to ensure your dog is happy, consider their social preferences. Organizing playdates with other dogs may be the ideal solution if they are social butterflies. However, games like chase or hide-and-seek may be more enjoyable if they prefer human interaction. It’s worth taking the time to experiment with different activities and toys to determine which ones they like best.

8. Toys and Chews

Dogs naturally love to chew toys, allowing them to have fun and express their instincts. Looking for durable options like stuffing-free toys is recommended to ensure you get the most out of your money. Additionally, giving your dog access to edible chews and chew toys that can be filled with food, like Kongs, is particularly exciting. Edible chews can aid in keeping teeth clean while also providing your pup with an enjoyable way to pass the time.

Adorable Terrier Mix Puppy Playing with Orange Basketball Toy
Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

9. Give Them Something to Do

If you want to make your dog happy, give them a job! Activities like fetching the newspaper or bringing your slippers can give your furry friend a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Plus, they’ll be rewarded with praise, physical affection, and treats when they complete their tasks correctly. This positive reinforcement will make them eager to please you and strengthen the bond between you. In fact, working together can create a deep emotional connection that brings a sense of satisfaction to both you and your pup.

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Training Tips

10. Obedience Training

While training your dog to be obedient may seem tedious, doing it right can bring both you and your furry friend immense joy. An obedient pet can greatly improve the overall quality of your relationship and make your lives easier and happier. So, take the time to properly train your pup and reap the rewards of a well-behaved companion.

Girl training black and white border collie dog puppy
Image Credit: ILya Soldatkin, Shutterstock

11. Praise Your Dog for Good Behavior

Maintaining a positive relationship with your furry friend is crucial for their happiness. One effective way to achieve this is through verbal and physical praise, essential in positive reinforcement training. As social creatures, dogs thrive on interaction and benefit significantly from a strong bond with their owner. This bond, along with consistent praise and rewards, leads to better obedience than fear-based tactics such as shouting or punishment. It is vital to continue this practice even after your dog has completed puppy training to ensure a strong connection with your furry pal.

12. Indoor Activities

Are you worried about your dog getting bored due to bad weather? Have no fear; you can do plenty of indoor activities with your furry friend! A classic game of hide-and-seek is a great way to keep them entertained. You can try hiding treats under plastic cups or teaching them a new trick. You can also create an agility or obstacle course using brooms, chairs, and blankets. Challenge your pet’s skills by having them perform a series of commands in quick succession. Remember to mix up the order and reward generously afterward. Don’t let the rain dampen your playtime; get creative and have fun indoors!

woman playing-with her dog
Image Credit: Prostock studio, Shutterstock

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Entertainment Tips

13. Explore Different Dog Treats

Providing dogs with treats they enjoy is essential for their happiness. Homemade treats are an excellent option to consider, as they can be a significant motivator for our furry friends. However, remember that treats contribute to their daily food intake. If you notice that you’re giving your dog more snacks than usual, reducing the portion size or calorie count of their regular meals may be helpful. This will help prevent overeating and ensure that they stay healthy and happy. Treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s calorie intake.

14. Keep Them Entertained When They Are Alone at Home

To guarantee the well-being of your furry friend, avoid leaving them alone for extended periods. Dogs are pack animals and can experience stress and separation anxiety when left alone. If you cannot hire a dog walker or rely on a helpful neighbor or family member, consider providing your dog with a stimulating toy to keep them entertained while you’re away. Plenty of interactive slow feeder treat dispensers are available, such as balls, puzzles, and chew toys.

Additionally, you can purchase nose work blankets and snuffle mats to encourage your dog to find treats on their own. With these options, you can ensure they stay happy and content while you’re out.

Brindle Dutch Shepherd playing with puzzle toy
Image Credit: Ryan Brix, Shutterstock

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Other Tips

15. Stay Calm and Assertive

Dogs are highly attuned to owners’ emotions. They don’t need mystical powers to sense our moods; they use our emotional cues to understand what’s happening around them. If we’re anxious or sad, our furry friends pick up on it and may mirror these emotions. While we can’t always control how we feel, keeping our most intense emotional moments away from our dogs to ensure they live a calm and happy life is essential.

16. Give Your Dog a Voice in Daily Decisions

Just like humans, dogs find happiness in the freedom to make their own choices. However, as an owner, you have much control over their daily routine, from mealtime to potty breaks. Allowing your furry friend to make some of their own decisions can significantly improve their overall well-being. To start, try giving your dog small opportunities to choose. For instance, let them decide which toy to play with or which route to take during your walk. While off-leash playtime can be a fantastic way for dogs to enjoy their freedom, always prioritize safety. Make sure letting them run free without a leash is legal and safe.

dog beside its potty training pad
Image Credit: Shutterstock

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Our beloved dogs experience a wide range of emotions, from basic ones such as fear and joy to more nuanced ones like excitement and shyness. If your furry friend seems unhappy, it might be due to various factors, such as insufficient exercise, an inadequate diet, or loneliness. While it’s not easy to identify precisely what makes a dog happy, it’s clear that they thrive on love and attention from their owners.

So spend quality time with them, use a gentle and calming tone when talking to them, offer them treats, and provide sufficient physical and mental stimulation. By doing so, you can help your dog lead a joyful and fulfilling life.

Featured Image Credit: aganyga, Pixabay

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