What Your Dog Needs To Be Happy
In general, dogs are very cheerful and don’t need much to be happy. Because it’s that easy, we may overlook simple aspects that can make them feel even better.
Whether it’s a long walk in the park or some extra treats for being a good boy, he’s going to be very happy knowing that you appreciate him. They are simple creatures and appreciate the little things. Your dog is going to be much happier if you take him exploring than if you buy him a very expensive collar. It’s about what he can understand.
Whatever you do, you need to keep your dog’s best interests in mind. If he is well-fed, healthy and has your full attention, he doesn’t need anything else.
How To Make Your Dog Happy
Even though dogs seem to be happy all the time, there are certain things we can do for them to maintain their wellbeing. Your dog needs quality food, training and frequent visits to the vet.
1. Make Sure His Bed Is Clean And Fluffy
Dogs like to be clean and can feel bad smells. Make sure his bed is clean all the time and of course, comfortable. Besides his personal comfort, fleas, ticks and larvae can find themselves living in an unwashed dog bedding. As you want your dog to stay healthy and happy, you need to wash his bed once a week and even more often if he has an accident in it.
2. Provide Him With Clean Water And Good Food
Yes, the quality of your dog’s food matters. Everything he eats needs to be of superior quality because that will make a difference in your dog’s health. We know that, and we only recommend the best. Whether it’s kibble or treats, you need to make sure they have all the nutrients your dog needs.
Besides, you need to make sure your dog always has access to clean and cold water. Even if your dog has a feeding schedule, the water bowl needs to be available at all times, especially during the hot summer days.
3. Create A Training Schedule
Dogs like schedules and consistency and will be very happy knowing that something is going to happen. If you create and maintain a training schedule, he will always know that the days don’t just go by. Throw in some of our quality treats, and you set your dog for the best life.
Remember that you should stay consistent with training and don’t leave your dog with incomplete behaviours.
4. Make Sure He Socialises
Dogs need to socialise too, and not only with humans. They need to learn how to play with their dog friends and do it quite frequently. If you have a dog park near your house, you should take him there once every couple of days. He will enjoy spending time with other dogs and will surely learn new behaviours from them.
Besides, it’s a great way to share opinions and tricks with other dog owners, so it’s a double win situation.
5. Exercise With Him Daily
Dogs need exercising, regardless of their breed. It’s true that some need more than others, but at least an hour a day is the standard for any dog. Play fetch, take him jogging or simply take a long walk in the park. This is mandatory for any dog and will prevent dog obesity.
If you’re stuck indoors from one reason or another, you can create an obstacle course for your dog so he stays entertained and in shape!
6. Watch His Needs Carefully
Sometimes your dog knows what he needs better than you do. If he wants a specific thing, he will try to get you to follow him. It may be a treat, he may need to go outside or his toy got stuck somewhere.
Dogs know when something is wrong and will do their best to communicate with their humans. As long as you pay attention to their body language, you will know if he wants something, if he’s scared or if he wants to go for a walk!
7. Take Him To The Vet
This is not the dream for any dog, but it’s an essential part of any dog’s life. There are some dog diseases you may not discover unless he’s checked out regularly, and you need to avoid that. Gastric torsion, for example, can kill your dog in a matter of hours if you don’t notice it.
If you notice any unusual symptoms or behaviours, you should at least call your veterinarian and ask for advice.
8. Let Him Know He Is Part Of The Family
No matter what you do, try to include your dog in any activity. If you put time into training him, you won’t have any problems with letting him out of his crate on house parties or taking him in a vacation with you.
Everything is about the relationship you create with your dog. If he knows you’re his friend and leader, he won’t have a reason not to listen to you. I’m sure you’ve seen in movies how dogs go around finding their buddies and saving the day, and that’s true. We’ve seen dogs casually involving in search missions and bringing back their lost pals.
If you have a fair relationship with your dog, he will get to understand everything you’re saying, and you will understand everything he is saying, creating an amazing bond.
Why Is Your Dog Sad?
Even though dogs are mostly happy, they can also get sad and fall into severe depressions. Since they are very communicative, you should always pay attention to their needs and body language. They tell you everything you need to know. Let’s see the main reason for a dog’s sadness.
1. He’s Been Alone For Too Long
Dogs are social creatures and need to have a lot of attention. This is why you shouldn’t get a dog if you are not sure you can give him all the attention he needs. If you leave your dog alone in the house for too long, he will start getting sad and even depressed, developing separation anxiety and destructive behaviours.
Remember that you shouldn’t crate your dog for more than eight hours a day, or hire a dog sitter for him.
2. Your Dog Is Hungry
As dogs grow very fast, it may be overwhelming to keep up with their eating needs. For example, when they are puppies, they need to eat about four to six small meals throughout the day. As they grow up, they will only need to eat twice, but you will need to make sure the quantity is right.
If you’re not sure how much your dog should eat, then ask your veterinarian. If he eats too little, he will start losing weight, and if he eats too much, he is at risk of developing dog obesity. Make sure his diet is adequate for him!
3. He’s Scared Of Something
Sometimes our dogs get scared by the silliest things, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take action. Some are scared by fireworks, others don’t like to be around kids, and others will try to get as far away from cars as possible.
You need to see what scares your dog and act upon it. Even if for you it may not be a big thing, you need to consider his feelings and do something to comfort him. In general, everything dog can be taught not to be afraid of certain things, but it requires patience and consistency. If you see that your dog is terrified of cars, you should first try and figure out why that’s happening, and then train the fear out.
4. Your Dog Is Sick
Just like we feel down when we’re sick, so do dogs. A fever will leave them being lethargic and unhappy, so you may want to keep an eye on that. A quick trick to see if your dog has a fever is to touch his nose. In general, your dog’s nose should be cold and wet, but if it’s warm and dry, then he is probably dehydrated or having a fever. You should call your veterinarian and schedule an appointment.
In most cases, it’s nothing to worry about, and your vet will tell you to keep an eye on him, but if his condition deteriorates in a matter of hours, you need to take him to a clinic.
Can Dogs Get Depressed?
Unfortunately, yes. Dogs can get depressed. This usually happens because they don’t receive enough attention, or maybe because they’re being left alone for too long. If they’re sad about something for too long, depression will start settling in.
When your dog falls into a depression, he may look sad and withdrawn, and may not want to eat or drink. He won’t want to play as much as before and even start losing weights in the most severe cases.
It’s important to figure out what’s causing the depression before attempting to fix it. There are a few common reasons why your dog may be depressed.
What Causes Dog Depression
1. Your Dog Is Sick
As I said, when a dog is sick, he may look sad, but if that sickness is not addressed, he will develop a severe depression because of it. Not every disease has visible symptoms and can go completely unnoticed.
If your veterinarian gives you a treatment, then you should stick to it and continuously comfort your dog until he feels better. If not, then you need to start looking for other causes of depression.
2. He’s Been Through A Traumatising Event
Dogs don’t understand their best friend needs to move out of the neighbourhood or his owners are on vacation. They also don’t understand that their best buddies may die. Because of this, dogs may get depressed in the absence of their favourite people and animals.
There have been many cases of dogs falling into severe depressions after their in-home playmates either died or had to go away. It’s not always something you can control, but you should try and see what would make your dog feel better.
3. You Moved Or Renovated Your House
Dogs may get depressed when changing homes or even renovating. As it’s a major change, he will need some time to adapt to it, purely because he can’t understand why this is necessary. It’s hard to tell whether your dog is strongly attached to the environment he lives in, so you don’t know if it’s something you can expect from your pup.
4. You Didn’t Address Your Dog’s Fear
Because dogs can’t understand why things happen a certain way, you need to remove the stimulus that frightens your dog. Of course, you won’t be able to do that in case of thunders, but you can keep the music down around him, and don’t force him to get in the car if he doesn’t want to.
With a dog, you need the same patience you need with a kid. Understand his reasons and try to find a comfortable way for him to get over the fears.
5. You Are Depressed
Your body language will betray you, and your dog will know you’re going through something. Because of their incredible empathy, they can get this depression from their owner. In this case, the owner needs to work towards fixing his behaviour, and the dog will follow.
What to Do If Your Dog Is Depressed
For starters, make sure he knows that he is loved. Give him attention every time he asks for it and try to initiate games with him all the time. Whether it’s throwing a ball, playing tug-of-war or simply laying together on the couch, your dog will start feeling better.
Of course, there’s a catch to that. Sometimes, your dog will not want to be touched, so you need to respect his boundaries. If you’re constantly giving him unwanted attention, he may come to realise that if he looks sad, you will do everything for him, and that’s not a great behaviour.
If you recently lost a dog, you may think about getting another one, but that’s not necessarily the best idea. If your current dog won’t accept the new one into the family, you can actually make the situation worse.
No matter what the reasons are, a veterinarian should check out your dog’s behaviour and physical condition. He is the one to decide whether your dog needs treatment or just a lot of attention in order to get over the traumatising event.
Something that you need to keep in mind is that a dog doesn’t suddenly fall into a depression. The cases when an incident completely changes a dog’s behaviour are not that frequent. This means that most times you can prevent a depression by paying close attention to your dog’s needs and try to keep him happy for as long as possible.
And to be completely fair, it’s not hard to keep a dog happy, but since every dog is different, you need to figure out the best formula. In general, a dog’s behaviour will be very similar to their owner’s. In the movie 101 Dalmatians, you can see how every dog is similar to his owner, and that’s exactly how it works. Based on that, we can safely say that if you like to take long walks in the park followed by complete relaxation watching a movie, so will your pup!