42 Ways To Make Your Dog Happy: Improving Your Dog’s Quality Of Life
You can’t miss what you never had. Which is why kenneled dogs don’t miss being inside and farm dogs don’t miss watching the television. But if we all lived by this rule, life would be pretty boring, which is why K9 Magazine and our assorted dog owning friends put our heads together to come up with 42 things that make our dogs happy.
Dogs are unique, and they are motivated by different things and we know you’ll feel it’s your job as a good dog owner to understand what really gets that tail wagging. Once you have a repertoire of things you can do, aside from the blindingly obvious, you will be in the powerful position of being able to bestow happiness on your dog.
These things may have zero educational, developmental, or even nutritional value to our dogs, but if they make that tail or even that little stump wag, then we’ve got them in our do’s list.
1. Bath time. A great time to bond, enables you to examine your dog for unusual lumps or growths too. Some dogs love the attention more than anything else.
2. Top Gear. Many dogs love the excitement of going out in the car. The new smells that come through the window, the new sights, the new sounds, all mean ‘fun’ to a dog. Next time you have to make a trip to the shops, take the dog.
3. What’s in a name? Ensure your dog associates his name with good things. Randomly call his name and offer some fuss or even a smile. This reinforces a positive association with the name.
4. Make the tail wag. Set yourself a challenge of seeing how many times you can make that tail wag without touching the dog. Use body language, intonation and different sounds. Your dog will benefit from the interaction.
5. Massage the soul. Your dog will get a lot of good socialisation if you take the time to give him a rub down. Legendary racer Mick The Miller got one every day.
6. Play wrestling. What is the point of having a dog if you can’t get down on the carpet for a bit of a friendly scrap. Use your common sense here and encourage your dog to play.
7. Going to the vet. Surprisingly some dogs actually like the vet’s. There are always other dogs to meet and the vet is usually a dog person with plenty of fuss to give. Don’t try to be a vet yourself however, always refer anything causing you concern to the vet.
8. Pretending to be a dog. A good, yet quite possibly best kept private, way of interacting with your dog is to get down and play dog. They won’t get what you are doing, but they will love it nonetheless.
9. Sprinkler systems are go. For those dogs that enjoy a bath, this is the ultimate fun sensation. Put the sprinkler on first then let your dog out, rather than scaring him with a cold, unexpected jet in the face. This is a great activity if you are busy doing something but can keep an eye on progress.
10. Talk the talk. It doesn’t need to be deep or meaningful, but your dog will benefit if you do talk to him. It enables them to become more familiar with your voice in different situations and can be relaxing for the dog. It may feel odd at first, but you will find your dog to be the best keeper of secrets you ever had.
11. Dancing are we? Broadcaster and journalist Danny Baker once wrote a whole article about dancing with dogs. Not heelwork, but proper dancing. Don’t force your dog into it, instead throw some shapes in the kitchen and he will join in before you know it.
We hope you enjoyed our 42 ideas! We’d love to hear your own stories about games you play, ways you make your dog’s day. Contact us and comment to share the fun!