Dogs make excellent companions. They provide a whole host of benefits for their owners, from reducing anxiety and loneliness to adding an increased sense of purpose to life. If you’re a dog owner, you may find yourself wanting to give back to this furry friend who gives so much to you. Here are a few simple ideas of how you can bring a little extra happiness into your special pup’s life.
1. Shake up Playtime
Dogs love to play, and it’s not just fun for them – the mental and social stimulation is important for their health and overall happiness, too. Having favorite routines for playtime is great, but dogs also need novelty. Try bringing home a new, versatile dog toy for them to explore. They will be grateful for the chance to experience and learn something new.
Playing with other dogs is important as well. Set up a doggie playdate with a friend, or go to a dog park where they can associate with other canines. Research tips on successful dog playdates ahead of time for optimal success. The initial introduction between the dogs is especially important and should be done while they are leashed and relaxed.
2. Teach Them New Tricks
Another important part of mental stimulation for dogs is learning new things. Try working on a new trick or teaching some simple commands. Incorporate hand signs for verbal commands to make them easier for your dog to understand. Break training up into short sessions so that it stays fun and not too frustrating for you or your dog. You can even tie learned commands into your routine by assigning specific chores to your dog, such as getting the paper or your slippers for you. Having a purpose and helping their owner is sure to increase your dog’s happiness.
3. Get Their Heartrate up
Exercise is vital to dogs’ health and well-being. Make sure that they are getting sufficient exercise. Adding variety to the exercise routine also ups the excitement factor. Try going for a hike and take the time to let them stop and smell all the interesting new scents. Get them into the water, whether by swimming in a lake or simply running through lawn sprinklers. Take them to a dog park or another safe space where they can safely run off-leash. You can even add some variety to your daily walks; pick a new route or consider letting your dog lead the way. While exercising outdoors, always be sure that the temperature is appropriate for them and that they have access to adequate amounts of fresh water.
4. Give Them a Good Rub
What dog doesn’t love a good belly rub? For some extra pampering, learn how to give specific dog massages. With a few simple techniques, you can help your dog to feel especially relaxed and cared for. Massages are a great bonding activity that can strengthen your relationship with your pup. They even improve your dog’s overall health, and in the case of injury, they may help to reduce pain and speed healing.
Making your dog happy isn’t complicated. Most of all, they just want you; that’s what makes them so loveable. Show your appreciation for their companionship with a few of these suggestions, and enjoy watching their excitement and appreciation.