Owning a dog is one of the greatest feelings in the world. A happy dog brings even more joy and fulfillment. Don’t get me wrong, a bowl of treats does wonders to lift your dog’s morale and self-esteem but that is not all you need to make them happy.
The most important thing for your dog is spending time with you. No matter how busy you are, make some time in your schedule to spend it with your lovely pet. This can have an immense impact on your dog’s life.
Once you have time set aside, there are a number of fun things that you and your dog can do together. With the little hacks we are about to share, you can make even the simplest of activities an exhilarating experience for your dog.
1. Schedule Extra Play Time
The University of Brisbane recently researched the importance of exercise for dogs, a study that included 4,000 dogs and owners. The results found that dogs with more playtime have better physical and mental health. Plus, they tend to be better socialized and have a stronger bond with their owners. So go ahead, have fun and play with your dog!
This said, it needs to be done right. Understanding what games to play and how to play them helps you make your dog happy and at the same time, you keep all his good behavior in check. For example, games like wrestling and tug-of-war can be fun and great exercise. But, they can also develop aggressive behavior. To counter this, throw in a couple of STAY and SIT commands while still letting the dog have a little more freedom than usual. That is what makes playtime fun.
"Well, it’s not going to throw itself!"
2. Explore New Scenery
Of course, you’ve heard of the benefits of walking your dog, but did you know that dogs love new surroundings. Following the same route day in and out will get them bored at some point. The freedom, new scenery and scents will make your dog curious and enthusiastic.
Before you go for the long walk, look for fun places with plenty of vegetation and space to play. A hiking trail or camping site is perfect. Carry the leash along but when possible, let your dog roam around freely. Your dog will surely run around, smell the flowers and enjoy themselves. Just keep an eye out that your dog doesn’t stray too far through all this excitement.
3. Take Your Friend on a Joyride
Surely you have seen this in movies and cartoons; a dog sticking his tongue out and enjoying the wind in his face. A joyride can be an excellent way to add some fun to your dog’s life and make her even happier with you. But be careful, some dogs can suffer from car anxiety. If that is the case, you need to take the necessary precautions to make your dog feel comfortable.
The best joyride for your dog should be short and packed with nice scenery. It is a good idea to roll the windows down just far enough to let in the fresh air in and the nose out. As you already know, dogs are naturally curious. Let them sit in the back to jump around without interfering with safety.
"Wanna go for a ride? Get in the back!"
4. Enjoy Some Cuddling
Just like humans, domesticated animals and especially dogs need the physical touch and some bonding. Did you know that cuddling can help relieve stress, reduce anxiety and improve the bond between you and your dog? According to research, 3 minutes of cuddling can boost your dog’s Oxycontin levels, making them happier and feel more loved and comfortable. Plus, you’ll love it as well! Cuddling has also been found to be highly therapeutic to humans, including improvement in their immunity.
"Hey! Take it easy! I can't breathe..."
5. Go For a Swim on a Hot Day
You would not believe the benefits that swimming offers to a dog. For example, one minute of swimming is equal to four minutes running on dry land and it saves your dog the wear and tear associated with on-land training. This is especially great for older dogs, who may have a little less energy to run around. Along with having lots of fun, you will be helping your dog preserve the muscular, physical and cardiovascular strength for long-lasting health.
Keep in mind that there are some dogs who just don’t like swimming. If your pet doesn’t want to get in the water, don’t force it and find other fun ways to exercise.
"Can we have a bigger swimming pool???"
6. Have a Spa Day
Most dogs love to look great and get extra attention, so taking your pet to the salon might just be a great idea. They will love the massages, fur trims, and the fancy treatment. Plus, it’s healthy to do this on a regular basis - it can improve your dog’s state of mind, their behavior and make them feel happy. Regular grooming can also help to identify injuries or other problems that you might not notice at home.
"Mirror, mirror on the wall...who's the fluffiest of them all?"
7. Provide Lots of Physical and Verbal Praise
You don’t always have to spend money or time to make your dog happy. Sometimes, all she needs is a little appreciation especially when she does something good or behaves well. A simple “Good Boy!” or pat on the head is super easy to do. Talking positively to your dog, praising them and hugging and kissing them improves self-esteem and triggers the feel-good hormone. Constant appreciation and display of affection not only makes them feel comfortable but also loved.
Constant appreciation and display of affection not only makes them feel comfortable but also loved.
One of the best ways to make sure that your dog is happy, is by spending time with them and paying attention to your pet. While these 7 hacks will generally work really well for any dog, only you know exactly what your best friend loves to do. Of course, spoiling them isn’t a good idea either, but indulging your dog in a nice exploration walk, a grooming session or a cool swim is just what they need to keep happy and healthy!