Most people find that owning a dog makes them feel happy. However, having a dog shouldn’t just be about the happiness of the owner. The owner also has a responsibility to make the dog feel satisfied with his lot in life. Do you think that your dog is a happy animal? Making a dog happy is not at all difficult. There are common sense tips any dog owner can follow to make his pet feel content.
1. Give Him Shelter
Dogs may be born with their own fur coats, but that doesn’t mean they are immune to the elements. If you own a dog, it’s your responsibility to provide him with adequate shelter. Dogs need protection from the cold, snow, rain, wind and heat. If possible, you should let your dog live in the house with you. If your dog has to live outside, provide him a kennel with warm bedding.
You should also provide your dog with somewhere to sleep. Most dogs enjoy sleeping in a crate because having a den of their own makes them feel protected. Alternatively, you could allow your dog to find his own sleeping spot. He will probably pick a place that makes him feel secure. For example, many dogs choose to sleep under the bed or behind the sofa. Do not allow your dog to sleep on your bed or on the sofa. If you give your dog free reign, he will not know that his place in the pack is beneath humans. Your dog needs to acknowledge you as pack leader in order to be psychologically healthy.
2. Food & Water
Your dog will be happy if you ensure that he always has an adequate supply of food and water. Choose a healthy pet food that doesn’t contain filler products like corn. Check your dog’s water supply regularly. Make sure he always has plenty of fresh, clean water to drink. You can feed dogs healthy table snacks and treats. However, it is important to avoid feeding your dog more food than he needs. If your dog is carrying extra weight, it will have an adverse effect on his health. Like humans, dogs are susceptible to obesity-related diseases.
3. Regular Exercise
You can help to keep your dog healthy by making sure he gets sufficient exercise. The amount of exercise a dog needs varies according to what breed he is. Some dog breeds need a great deal of exercise; others can get by on a moderate amount. The amount of exercise a dog needs also depends on his age. Check to see how much exercise your dog needs, and make sure he gets it.
4. Toys & Play
Dogs require more than food, water, shelter and exercise to feel happy. They also need mental stimulation. If your dog has nothing to do all day, he will feel bored and find his own source of amusement. For instance, he might decide to bark for six hours in a row, eat your slippers, or chew the legs off your furniture. You should, therefore, make sure your dog has plenty of toys to play with. It is also important to make time to play with your dog each day. Most dogs like games of fetch or tug of war. They also tend to enjoy sniffing out hidden objects.
5. Love & Affection
Dogs love to be petted and stroked as much as humans do, if not more so. Hence if you have a dog, you should make the effort to be physically tactile with him. If your dog wants to crawl into your lap, you should let him. If you know your dog loves it when you scratch behind his ears, indulge him. The more physical affection you show your dog, the more he will come to trust you.
Your dog will also feel happy if you make the effort to talk to him. Dogs especially like to be praised for doing something right. When you talk to your dog, use a high- pitched voice to show him that you are pleased with him.
6. Be the Boss
Dogs may thrive when given lots of love and affection, but they also need discipline. Your dog has to feel sure that you are the pack leader before he will obey your commands. That means you should set boundaries. For example, you should not let your dog sleep on your bed, eat dinner before the rest of the family, or leave a room in front of you.
Use a stern voice to correct your dog when he has something wrong, but remain calm and resist the urge to yell at him. Never use physical violence to correct your dog. The use of physical aggression will obviously make your dog unhappy, and it could even ruin his temperament. If you are having trouble asserting your authority, there are plenty of books and articles than can help you to show your dog who the pack leader is.