Are you the proud owner of a lovable canine? Indeed, once you welcome a dog into your life it will never quite be the same again! These four-legged friends have a way of putting their pawprints all over our hearts in a way that only a dog can possibly accomplish.
However, you may be wondering how you can make sure that your dog is happy in its life? Since you love them so much, what are some of the small things you can do to ensure that they know how loved they are? What games or activities could you do with your dog to make every day a great day for them?
Besides trying to make your pet happy, these activities are also a great distractor for your pup if they are misbehaving because they are bored. Or if you have a new puppy that tends to bite a lot, you can also use one of these tips to get it to stop biting.
What you could really do with is a list of great ideas to dip into each day. You will be glad to know that we have provided you with exactly that! Ready to get started on informing yourself on how to make your dog happy? Great, let’s get started!
Here are 40 things you can do to make your dog happy:
1. Hug Your Dog Every Day
A very simple activity, yet a crucial one. Dogs love hugs! If you think that you have a dog that doesn’t like hugs you just haven’t found the type of hug that they like yet. Some dogs love the ‘sit on your knee and try to make our bodies merge into one’ type of hug, while others prefer a more polite embrace with less physical contact.
Find out what your dog loves and make sure that you have at least one long, meaningful hug a day. You won’t believe how much this will bond your dog to you, and of course, a dog that is bonded to their owner is a happy dog!
2. Play Hide-And-Seek
Dogs love to engage their brains and we are going to give you countless game and activity ideas to help you become an expert at engaging your dog. Hide-and-seek is a great game to play, what else could your dog love to find than their favorite person in the world? Take 5 minutes every now and then to play this game with your dog and you will soon have them hoping for a game of hide-and-seek every day!
3. Make Walkies An Excursion
We all love a little variety in life and dogs are no different. Granted, you may have a set walk schedule that you tend to do with your dog and that’s great, but make sure that you spice things up every now and then.
You can take them on a different route or to a different area altogether. Remember, your dog wants to engage their brain and giving them new things to see and smell is sure to do exactly that.
Sometimes your dog might get tired during the walks, so to avoid a situation where your furry friend might refuse to walk half through the trip, you may want to consider getting a dog carrier backpack. Check out our post on the benefits of using a carrier for your furball here.
4. Have A Selection Of Toys For When You Are Not At Home
Your dog loves it when you are home together. Even if you are not directly playing with them, they love the fact that you are hovering around. That means you need to give extra thought to how you can make your dog happy when you are not at home. Thankfully, the market is full of excellent dog toys for exactly that.
One recommendation is the Outward Hound Nina Ottosson Interactive Puzzle Game Dog Toys. This interactive treat puzzle game is sure to get your dog’s brain cells really working. It is also highly durable and takes those treat-seeking toys to the next level.
5. Make Homemade Treats
There is nothing quite like good old home baking and your dog’s appetite is not an exception to this rule. You know how you feel when you visit a family member and they are just taking cookies out of the oven? In seventh heaven, right? Allow your dog to enjoy the same pleasure. Let them know that you are baking especially for them and even let them try the cookie dough as you go along. Once you take the cookies out of the oven, make a big fuss and let your buddy enjoy one hot from the oven!
6. Keep Teaching New Tricks
There are so many tricks that you can teach your dog and we will highlight some of these below, however, this tip is all about how teaching tricks should not just be for the puppy days. Tricks should be part of your dog’s whole life and is an excellent way to make your dog happy and bond as dog and owner. Every day should be a school day for your dog!
7. Give Your Dog A Grooming Massage
It’s not just humans that love getting a good massage. Dogs can gain a lot of stress relief and relaxation by having a regular brushing session with their owner. Brushes which also create a massage sensation for your dog are cheap to buy, yet are with their weight in gold. The ROPO Dog Grooming Brush is a great example of one such brush and will have your dog in a blissful state all day long.
8. Plan A Regular Day Out Just For your Dog
Your dog is a key part of your family and as such having planned days just for them will make them very happy indeed. Every now and then, plan a full day that is all about your dog. You might take them somewhere they don’t go often, such as to the beach or forest.
You can also plan for their favorite treats, perhaps a visit from a favorite human and a playdate with another dog. Indulge in your dog for the whole day and you will see that happy and content glint in their eyes for a long time to come.
9. Have A Doggy Disco
This may be a new idea to you but once you have tried it you will see exactly why we have it on our list. Put a fun playlist on, turn the speakers up and encourage your dog to dance around like a fool with you. Your dog will love your excitement and how you are spending time with just them. This is time for you both to let your hair down and have a little silly time together. However, keep in mind not to do this too late in the evening or you will disturb your neighbours!
10. Go Shopping Together For a New Collar
We all love to get a little something new for our wardrobe. For your dog, their collar is a key part of that! Enjoy a little spot of shopping together as you visit the pet stores in your area and try out different collars until you find one that is perfect for your pooch.
11. Compliment Your Dog Every Day
Do not dismiss this idea! We all love getting compliments and even if you think your dog can’t understand, your tone of voice, smile, and body language will be all that is needed. Be surprised by the joyful smile on your dog’s face.
12. Have Fun Chasing Ice Cubes
Dogs love to be silly. Make some ice cubes (use homemade stock for an extra special treat) and watch your dog as they collide with everything insight, you will both be laughing your socks off!
13. Use a Face Swap App
Remember, your dog loves it when you are happy together. A face swap app will have you howling with laughter and your dog is sure to follow!
14. Arrange Doggy Play Dates
Much as your dog loves you, they also love spending time with their fellow furry buddies (well, most do anyway!) Try to find dogs that have a similar nature and get on well together and arrange for a lovely day at the park or even just in the back garden.
15. Give Your Dog a Job
It might be to carry the pegs to the garden or to help you with the laundry, your dog will be quick to learn if you give them lots of praise along the way.
16. Squeaky Fun
All dogs love squeaky toys, it is often the owners that don’t have the same passion for them! Even if you can’t cope with the sound every day, give your dog times when they can enjoy a good squeak! Treat them to a fun toy such as ZippyPaws for an extra special fun time.
17. Set Up A Treasure Hunt Of Toys
Use all of their favorite toys and plan the route so that there are some challenging parts along the way.
18. Set Up A Treasure Hunt With Treats
This can be done indoors or outdoors and is a great way to bond as you coach your dog to find the goodies.
19. Teeth Brushing
It’s another activity that means your dog has your one-on-one attention so this is sure to be a route to doggy happiness.
20. Set Up A Doggy Paddling Pool
For the summer months, a doggy pool can create hours of fun. Just be sure to buy a good quality one such as, Pecute Dog Pool, or you may end up with a big mess all over the garden.
Alternatively, you may also want to use your dog bathtub, fill it up with water and let your furball have a fun time playing in the water. It might also let your dog get used to using the bathtub so it’ll not be afraid of bathtime!
21. Keep a Good Diet
We all feel better when we eat well. Make sure that your dog has good quality food each day and that the choice is right for their size and weight. If in doubt, ask the vet!
22. Make Their Bed a Cozy Heaven
Dogs spend a fair amount of time in their bed so make sure that you have created an area that is snuggly, warm and cozy. Here are some dog beds which are very well received by other dog owners and I’m sure your doggy friend would love to have one to snuggle up in.
23. Ensure Regular Vet’s Visits
A healthy dog is a happy dog. Make sure that you keep regular visits to the vets and keep up to date with all vaccinations.
24. Don’t Let Them Pile On The Pounds
We know that you want to give your dog treats and, of course, a little bit of what you like is good, however, keep an eye on your dog’s weight to ensure these pounds aren’t piling on. If your dog is too overweight, it will find moving around to be a tedious task. A sick and unhealthy dog will not make a happy pet.
25. Let Your Dog Have a Good Run
Walks on the leash are good, but every now and then your dog will love a wild run. Take them somewhere that they can really give their legs a stretch and allow them to rabbit-run until they naturally get tired out.
26. Be There For Your Buddy
Dogs are just like humans. There will be days when your dog may seem a little off, just not themselves. Don’t overlook these moments. Your dog needs extra cuddles on these days and you need to slow down a little and ensure that they get what they need.
27. Meet Your Dog Where They Are
You may love playing fetch with your dog and think it is the best gift to give any dog, but your dog may not be a fetch kind of guy. Find what your dog loves and spend time doing this.
28. Listen To Your Dog
Do you have a dog who loves to make lots of typical canine sounds? If you do, give them the time to listen to them. Your dog will feel loved and respected, two factors crucial to a very happy dog.
29. Give Your Dog A Bath
Not all dogs love baths but even if your dog tends to dig in the heels when the bathtub starts to fill, there are things that you can do to make the experience a good one. Plus having a nice clean dog is sure to make you want to have extra cuddles together.
You can try having a squeaky toy duck in the bath or play bubbles with your dog to entice it to get into the bathtub. Giving it a good body rub during bath time might also be a good activity to try out.
30. Play Fetch
It’s an old favorite but with plenty of good reasons. Teach your dog to retrieve toys or a favorite ball and you are set up for hours of fun together.
31.Teach Tricks To Impress
Your dog will love to be admired so teach him or her tricks that will have others gasping in awe. A respected dog is a happy dog.
32. Just Be Present
Making your dog happy is not just about the big things but also about every minute that you are in each other’s company. Be present and your dog will feel it.
33. Visit Dog-Friendly Attractions
These days there are plenty of places that you can bring your dog along. Instead of always leaving them at home, look for attractions and places that will welcome your dog along with the whole family.
34. Knit Your Dog a Jumper
As the winter months come in, think about knitting your dog a cozy house jumper or ask someone to make one for you.
35. Have a Photo Shoot Together
Whether you head to a local studio or just enjoy an hour of taking selfies, your dog will feel happy and loved being in the picture for your daily fun.
36. Be The Pack Leader
Dogs are happy when they know their place and by learning how to establish yourself as the pack leader, you can create a sense of contentment in your dog’s life.
37. Socialize your Dog From As Young As Possible
The younger your dog gets used to being around other dogs and humans, the happier they will be at fitting into your life. Take the time to make the most of as many social settings as you can for your dog.
38. Be The Calm Influence In Your Dog’s Life
Life has many challenges but if your dog sees you as the calm stability in their life, they will be able to attain an overall sense of happiness regardless of what is going on around them.
39. Get To Know Your Dog’s Breed
All breeds have different traits. Get to know what makes your dog the way they are and learn to embrace all of their characteristics.
40. Tell Your Dog You Love Them Every Day
Your dog will soon get to know this expression and know that it means one very important thing; that you want them to be the happiest do in the whole wide world!
I hope that the above 40 tips will give you a lot of ideas on how to make your dog happy. It’s vital that you keep your dog happy because dogs can have anxiety issues and if it’s not treated, it can lead to devastating consequences.
You will definitely not be able to carry out all of the activities at once but trying out 2 – 3 each week will surely give you and your doggy friend a lot of fun together.