Is your dog happy?
The majority of dogs don’t ask for much.
Of course there are vocal and persistent dogs that make everyone aware of what they need when they need it. If we know how to read their signs and do not attribute their behaviour as demanding, spoilt, stubborn and so on. There are dogs that find a way to make us humans aware there is an issue by causing us some sort of a discomfort.
But this post is not for them.
This post is for the quiet ones. The ones who are adaptable, who want to please us and will mirror our behaviour. The ones that we tend to forget they are in the house and who do not cause any issues.
Are they truly happy? And is there something we can do for them to be even happier?
I thought we could have a chat about their needs and create a short list of points to check every once in a while.
Is your dog on high quality food? Is their body tolerating their food ok, not producing high stink gas that could indicate indigestion, are they pooping regularly and having well shaped stools? Are they eating happily (even when alone) and do they like their food?
Just like in humans, mood and mental health are linked to dog nutrition. Recent studies are showing that even a handful of fresh greens in their kibble can reduce the chance of them developing cancer dramatically.
Does your dog have access to water at all times, especially now that the weather is getting warmer? Is their water bowl clean?
The consensus is that at least 30’ of walking/running a day is needed for small dogs, longer for bigger dogs, but every dog is different and depending on their physical state we should adapt their exercise regime accordingly. For example, fetching is a great form of exercise for most dogs, but we might need to reduce the time our dogs play with a ball and increase the time we encourage calmer activities if going through a stressful time.
Does your dog use their brain?? We tend to ignore this fact, but it only makes sense, right? A happy dog is a dog that is not only using their body, but one that uses their mind too.
Socialisation with other dogs
Dogs are social animals and they tend to be more balanced in life in the presence of other dogs. However, this is to be taken with a pinch of salt, as there are some animals that might have had a traumatic experience and need a break, or some guidance when meeting other dogs. There are dogs that have grown to be less tolerant.
Is your dog ok physically? Are they free of pain? Are you sure? Do you apply pressure all over their body regularly to ensure there is no reaction? Even an upset tummy can be uncomfortable and make them behave in a moody way.
Safe space to relax
Is there a space your dog can retrieve to where he can sleep and slow down undisturbed? Is this his happy and safe space and not a place he is forcefully confined in?
Does your dog spend time doing things that fill their heart with joy on a regular basis?
Are there things that scare your pup, that make them lose confidence and is this interfering with their everyday life? Of course, this is a big discussion topic, and there is no one size fits all when talking about dogs with their individual characters and emotional responses. But boosting a dog’s confidence is something that can be done throughout their life