Dogs are a human’s best friend. They provide us with pleasure, companionship and joy. In return, we can help our dog be happy and strengthen our bond in several ways.
Exercise is essential for your dog’s physical health. Dogs also need movement to combat boredom. While you may need to crate your dog while you’re at work, offer adequate exercise, too. Take walks, runs or hikes together. And play games like fetch or tug-of-war. Even dancing and swimming keep your dog active.
Your dog probably has a favorite chew toy, ball or stuffie. Even preferred toys can get boring, though. Stimulate your dog when you rotate toys. A few times a week, toss all the toys in a bin and bring out a fresh selection.
Feed your dog a nourishing and nutritious diet. After finding food she likes, follow serving size recommendations based on breed, size and age. Offer fresh water throughout the day, too.
Chewing is a natural behavior. That’s why a bored or upset dog will chew on furniture and shoes. Offer plenty of chew toys to stimulate your furry friend. Bully sticks provide protein while dental bones clean your dog’s teeth and freshen his breath.
Dogs love to sniff and explore. Meet this need with plenty of outdoor walks and playtime. Switch up the route or location every few days to add additional adventure and stimulation.
Dogs can be social creatures who need playtime with other dogs. Schedule doggie playdates with a neighbor’s pet or visit a dog park. If you’re new to doggie playdates, choose a neutral location, remove toys, start with introductions, and make sure your dog feels comfortable.
Put Your Dog to Work
Some dogs thrive on hunting, digging or protecting, so give your dog a job. Hide a treat, several toys or yourself, and make them use their noses to find the objects. Or teach your dog to carry laundry and fetch your shoes. Also, consider setting up an agility course in your backyard. Give your dog a purpose and watch her thrive.
Implement a Training Regimen
Your intelligent dog can learn tons of tricks beyond sit, come and roll over. Challenge and stimulate your dog to crawl, bow, spin, or jump through hoops. Use positive reinforcement methods and a consistent training schedule to give your dog confidence and strengthen your relationship.
Pups appreciate physical touching like petting, brushing and snuggles. Maybe you don’t want your dog on your bed, but you can scratch her favorite spot. Or learn soothing massage techniques.
Study Your Dog
Because every dog is different, study your pet. Figure out what he likes and needs to be calm, stimulated and happy. For example, learn his boredom cues, offer his favorite treats and let him choose the walk route.
You can help your dog be happy. Practice these tips as you support your pooch.