We might do a lot for our dogs: we walk them, fill their water bowls, feed them, groom them, and give them treats … the list goes on. So, it’s reasonable to feel that we’ve done enough when it comes to taking care of them. Still, it isn’t always about doing more, but rather about making what we do more pleasant and joy-filled for our dogs. By directing our awareness of our dogs’ experiences, it’s easy to find simple ways to make them happier without much more effort.
Make it An Adventure
Most dogs love outings to new places, so instead of taking the same park every day, consider what your dog likes and find areas that match their interests. A new swimming place, an unexplored hiking trail, or even walking in a new neighborhood add pleasure and excitement to your dog’s life. Any new place will be full of unfamiliar smells, and that’s a treat for many dogs.
Give Them Choices
Most dogs would appreciate more freedom to make their own decisions. Safety concerns should keep us from simply opening our doors and letting our dogs loose to do whatever they want. While we are certainly not recommending being reckless, if there are places your dog can safely be off-leash, take advantage of them. Allow your dog to choose where they would like to run and how fast, whether to roll around or frolic, what to smell, and for how long.
Play, Play And Then More Play
We cannot emphasize enough how much play can give to your canine’s happiness. In addition to the most obvious, the play also gives them mental and physical activity and socializing opportunities and leads to feelings of progress and enhanced cooperation. Plus, it’s a great boredom-buster.
Toys And Chews
Certain objects and activities prevent boredom while also providing mental stimulation. Chewing is a very natural pursuit for dogs, so if your dog tends to pull the stuffing out of soft toys, consider purchasing him chew toys without any stuffing.
Since chew items are meant to be well… chewed up, it’s worth paying attention to how much bang for your buck you get with the various options, and choose more durable items if they appeal to your dogs. Real bones, rawhides (if your dog can safely handle them), sweet potato or yak milk chews, and bully sticks are all options. Always check with your vet about what is safe for your dog and suitable for his teeth.
Vary Their Diet
There’s plenty of discussion about what composes the healthiest diet for dogs. However, few disagree on the value of varying a dog’s food. If your dog can stand a change in his diet, mixing things up a bit and adding fresh food will bring him a bit more excitement. This applies to treats as well.