Is your dog happy with his life? I’m sure that’s a question you’ve asked yourself many times, especially when you’re quite busy at work and can’t find time to play with your furry roommate.
You’re not the only one. Many pet owners have the same though once in a while. But is there a way for us to understand how our pet feels? Well, until someone invents a dog to human translator, we can only speculate. Nevertheless, some signs can help us decipher our dog’s language. So, to ease your worries, we’re doing to talk about 10 signs that your dog is happy with his life.
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Is Your Dog Happy? Here’s How to Tell!
It’s not like we can sit on the couch with our pups and discuss their contentment with life, right? But, we still yearn to know for sure that we are providing the best life we can for our dogs! It’s only natural for a dog mom or dad to wonder if they are giving their pup everything they deserve!
So, how can you be sure? There are definitely some tell “tail” signs that your dog is completely smitten with their day to day life! Their body language, demeanor, behaviors and several other factors can be a great indicator of their happiness level!
Let’s dive into some things you can take notice of in your dog to let you know whether they are a really happy pup!
#1 A Healthy Pup
A healthy dog is a happy dog! When everything is running well on the inside, your pup is much more likely to be content. Be super observant of changes in behavior that may indicate that your dog is feeling under the weather.
Make sure that they see their vet regularly and are up to date on their shots as well. These things will help ensure they stay healthy and will also nip any issue in the bud before it develops into a bigger problem. Feeding your dog a nutritious diet and giving them plenty of exercise will ensure you are also doing your best to keep them healthy too!
# 2 A Hearty Appetite
A dog with a good appetite is a happy little guy! While each dog will have their own unique eating habits, a consistent healthy appetite is a strong indicator of a happy pooch. While your dog may not be a big eater, you will notice if, all of a sudden, they seem to have less interest in their food.
And, if you notice that they are not getting real excited for their favorite treat, something could be going on! A real happy dog will eat regularly and never turn down a treat! If you notice something amiss here, definitely bring your dog to the vet to make sure there isn’t something going on!
A dog which doesn’t show interest in food is worrisome. Animals don’t go on diets, so this is usually the first warning that something is wrong. It might be depression if something tragic or unexpected has happened recently or it might be an illness. In either case, a trip to the vet is in order.
Looking for yummy treats to make at home? Check out my favorite DIY Homemade Dog Treat!
# 3 No mess in the house
While it is normal for dogs, on occasion, to run-a-muk at home and get into things (especially puppies!), if your dog is regularly destructive, this could be a sign that they are not so happy. They may have built up anxiety, especially when you are gone, that they are unable to manage. This can come out in the destruction of your favorite throw pillow, the turned over planter or some teeth marks in the chair legs!
A little mischief here or there is normal, but everyday mischief can be a sign that your dog needs some changes. Anxiety or depression could be the cause of this behavior. Definitely talk to your vet if you think this might be the case! And in a bit we will get into some things to do to help your dog feel happier too!
# 4 A Playful Pupper
A dog that loves to play is a dog that loves life! Does your pup jump up when you grab his favorite toy? Does your dog do the “play bow”, with their front legs on the ground and tail wagging in the air? If so, you have a happy dog! If your dog loves to be active, moving, playing, jumping… This is a sure sign they are content with their life.
Help keep your pup active with these fun training games!
# 5 Calm, Cool and Collected Demeanor
A dog that appears relaxed and calm, is just that! Dogs do not have the ability to pretend to be happy! If your dog is typically showing certain signs, this means they are happy!
- Their body will appear relaxed, not stiff and rigid.
- Their ears will be a little back, not all the way back and flat or perfectly erect (except in breeds whose ears are meant to be that way).
- They will make eye contact with you and their eyes will be warm and calm.
- They may have their mouth open, content, not bearing teeth, of course.
- And their tail… Everyone knows a dog wagging their tail is happy! Be sure to look for a soft wag, with their tail raised, but not stiff and rigid.
Some breeds may have a tail that only does that, but, for the most part, a relaxed wagging tail shows a content dog. If your dog is playing and going crazy though, their tail may be a little more animated and that’s ok too!
#6 Belly Time
Does your dog roll over and want a belly rub? Then she’s a happy gal! Their most vulnerable position is being on their backs, so, if a dog shows their tummy, they trust you! And when they trust you, they are definitely content with their life. They feel comfortable enough to take on a vulnerable position and this is them saying “thanks for fun!”.
#7 Fun Positions and Movements
Does your dog dance? How about Zoomies? When a dog is feeling really happy, especially if you just got home, they may hop up and down on two legs! Doing a little jig! I know my pup sure does this when he sees the treat bag!
And those classic bursts of energy that have your dog zooming all over the house? That definitely means they are in a good mood! All the crumpled throw rugs and spilled water bowls will definitely indicate a pup who is thrilled with life!
#8 Healthy Coat of Fur
Just like a healthy dog is a happy dog, a healthy dog will also have a nice looking coat. A good indicator of their contentment level can be seen in a shiny, soft coat (or as soft as is appropriate for each breed). They will not have missing hair or bald patches, these could be indicators that your dog is stressed.
Also, if your dog is shedding more all of a sudden, this could also be a sign of stress. Clear skin can also help indicate your pup’s happiness. Do they have dry or irritated spots? This could be a skin condition, be sure to get it checked! And it could also be a sign of anxiety or stress.
#9 Good Sleep Habits
Dogs love their naps! It seems like dogs get more rest in a day than some humans do in a week! Is your dog napping, in their favorite sun spot, after a jaunt around the yard after a squirrel? Well, that sure is a happy pup!
A relaxed dog, lounging on the couch, dreaming away, is a sign that your dog is getting a good amount of physical activity and is feeling content and relaxed! Their body will be soft and floppy, their breathing smooth and calm.
If your dog is not resting well, pacing or restless at night, this could mean something is wrong! They may be suffering from some sort of stress that is causing them to not be able to relax! Get this checked by your vet!
#10 Cuddles All Around
When your dog nestles right up next to you on the couch or sleeps so close you can not even move your legs at night, they are a happy dog! Feeling most comfortable and trusting you, by staying as close as possible definitely shows their contentment. They love to feel you close to them! And when you scratch behind their ear and they come even closer, they are definitely showing you how happy they are with you and their life!
A happy dog is pretty easy to recognize, in my opinion. They have a healthy appearance, their skin and coat look good, their eyes are bright and alert, but also soft and calm. Their body is soft, not rigid, their ears are soft or even floppy too.
They may even appear to be smiling with their mouth open and tongue hanging out a bit. They eat well, drink water normally and appear to get restful sleep! And they need that sleep because a happy dog is full of energy! They love to play with their favorite toy, chase a squirrel, walk the neighborhood or even go for a swim, hike or road trip!
If you observe your dog begging for a belly rub or leaning in to get more cuddles, you have done your job at creating a safe and happy environment for your dog! They have taken notice of your efforts and appreciate it very much!
A few tips to make your dog extra happy!
Now that you know how to tell if you are giving your dog the best life for them, here are some things you can do to go the extra mile and make your dog an even happier companion!
Mental Stimulation and Agility Activities
Especially for breeds that have high intelligence and excellent learning skills, these types of activities will be great for your dog! Mastering a treat puzzle will make your dog really proud of himself! This brain building will also prevent boredom and strengthen the bond you have with your furry friend!A Safe and Secure Home Life
This is something that everyone will benefit from! A safe and reliable home is something that will keep your dog’s anxiety low and his happiness high! Knowing he has a comfy bed, food, water and your love will create an ever present relaxed state. When your dog can just worry about having fun and being your best friend, they are sure to live many happy days!
Again, quality time with the whole family will help ensure a happy and calm home life, even for your pup! Be sure to give them the attention they need! Spend time cuddling or playing each day. Devote special time to your pup and he will surely know how much he is valued!
Just like humans, dogs are loyal and want to please. Make sure to make them aware of how important they are to you! This will increase their confidence and improve their mood daily!
So what do you think? Is your dog happy with their life? I hope these ideas have helped you tune in to your dog’s true happiness. I am sure you have heard some of these things before, but, when you have it all in front of you, it is certainly easier to check the boxes of happiness for your pup!
Take inventory of how many traits above you see in your dog on a daily basis. And if you notice something amiss, see what you can do to help your pup in that area. But if you notice some real red flags with your pupper’s behavior, eating or sleeping habits, be sure to have them checked out by your vet, it could be something more serious that should be addressed!
But overall, if you have an energetic, playful, calm looking dog with a smile and a gentle tail wag each day, you are doing something right!