We all want our pups to be happy right? There'a quite a few ways to make that happen and we've listed some of the steps we feel are pretty important for our babies. Most are pretty easy and a couple may be a bit more time consuming but well worth it. There's more than likely a few more steps that could be added to this list, but these are the immediate steps that come to our mind when we think about what makes a dog happy…it's pretty simple since it's almost the same concept most humans want to keep them happy!
1. Healthy Food and Treats
You know by now that we are huge supporters of healthy food and treats for our dogs. THP has blogged about numerous healthy foods and treats that your dog is sure to love, so check them out. Sure most dogs will eat just about anything…but just like us, foods and treats that are not could for us leads to all kinds of problems. Your baby will not be happy about that!
2. Maintain Weight
Keep your dogs weight in check. Just feeding healthy dog food and treats is not enough if they're being over fed. Over weight dogs have an enormous tendancy for hip and back problems just the same as humans. I find keeping a feeding schedule is a good way to help control those random fixes. Dogs are no dummies and they'll play the sad face card to get you to give extras. Keep treats for special reward or as a once or twice a day in between snack. Remember to pinch an inch, anything more may mean that your dog is overweight. Dogs in pain are not happy dogs! Check out the chart, where does your dog placed on a scale of 1 to 5???
3.Toys and Chews
They say variety is the spice of life and that same philosphy goes for dogs toys. Our pups love to play and each dog has a few favorites so make sure you have enough safe toys, hard and soft to keep him happy, happy, happy, but be sure to keep them clean too. Chews should be included in the toy box as long as they are healthy and safe.
So important for our dogs to run and play. If you don't have a fenched in yard, consider a dog walk or two during the week or some play time at a dog park. Swimming is also a great exercise for dogs if you have a pool. If you don't have a pool think about a small kiddie pool for the yard where your dog can romp around in. At the end of play give him a nice bath to make him smell and feel good. A dog who has exercise plus a bath is a very happy doggie indeed!.
5. Clean Fresh Water
Always have some nice fresh water for your dog to drink. Throw a few ice cubes into it to keep it cold during the day. I add a small cap od dental preventivie into to keep their teeth in good shape also. Take a look at the THP cheat sheet for some ideas. Nobody is happy when they're thirsty and that goes for dogs too. The added preventive helps their breath and keeps their teeth free of tartar. Healthy teeth make healthy dogs which equates to happy dogs!
6. Comfortable & Clean Pet Beds
We all like a clean and comfortable place to rest our weary bones…well so do dogs. Diversify by having two or three different places where your pup can rest like your couch or bed. Makes them really feel like part of the family. If you have to crate your pups from time to time, make sure they're not only big enough, but put something soft for them to lay on like a pillow, soft towel or some old t-shirts. My dogs have a special blankie they love to be covered with, give it a try maybe your dogs will love a blankie also. Nice and comfy spaces definitely makes for a happy dog!
7. Regular Vet Visits
isits to the vet for needed shots and physicals on a regular bases can make going to the vet less stressful for your pet. Peventive care is always the best solution rather than waiting for the dog to have a problem before going. Different types of shots should go along with each visit. Preventive care like heart worm pills and a flea and tick repellent are very important as well as preventitive care for the teeth. One other important tip is to keep the dogs nails cut back If you t afraid to do it yourself, let the groomer do it. Long nails can be very painful to your babies. Remember, pain free and healthy dogs are always happy, happy dogs…much like us!
8. Love and Affection
Last but not least, a happy dog is one who is given lots of attention, hugs and yes kisses. A dog who has lots of interaction with you and the freedom to roam the house, eat, drink, rest, play and excercise daily is for sure a happy dog. A happy dog is one that feels secure and knows he's wanted and protected…and if at all possible, a happy dog is one who has a doggie buddy to live and play with,, and if you decide to get another doggie, think about a rescue dog who will absolutely, positively not only be happy but will give you so much love,
So there you have it, a few tips on what we feel makes a happy dog. We ended up with a couple of furry babies ourselves and we are forever happy with that decision. We do our best to follow these tips and our dogs seem to be quite happy most of the time…but the most important thing is that they have brought msch happiness to us. We love to watch them play, sleep and interact with us and we laugh so much more now and they say laughter is good for the heart and soul. Give it a try!