Home Dog Care How to Make a Dog Happy in 8 Simple Steps

How to Make a Dog Happy in 8 Simple Steps

I feel guilty when I have to leave my dogs home alone when I'm at work. I know a lot of pet parents feel the same. Your main job as a dog owner is to learn how to make a dog happy, and these 8 easy tips are sure to excite your Fido. They'll be a lot of fun for you, too.

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In order to make your dog happy, you need to focus on the animal's mental and physical health. Dogs are intelligent, social creatures. Think about the types of things that make you happy: physical contact, affection, fun activities, and mentally stimulating games.

The same can be said for your dog. We all know that love and attention are sure ways to make our pets smile. But, learning how to make a dog happy is more than just physical affection. Below are my 8 best tips that will make your pup happy and help to strengthen the bond between the two of you.

MORE WAYS: 40 Tips On How To Make Your Dog Happy

How to Make a Dog Happy

How to Make a Dog Happy1. Play Games

Games are a surefire way to make your dog happy. Traditional games, like tug-of-war and fetch, are fun for most dogs. If your pooch doesn't seem into these types of games, try something a little more exciting or unique, maybe even a board game.

Dogs love wrestling with you – it’s a favorite form of play for most of them. As long as your dog understands how to play gently, have a wrestling match once in a while. And, don't forget to let your Fido win sometimes!

Did you know that dogs like to dance? It’s a simple fact of life. And yes, their “dancing” is nothing more than jumping and running around you while you listen to music and dance yourself, but it's a fun game nonetheless.

Hide-and-Seek is one of my favorite games to play with my pack. Dogs love to seek out and chase things, and that can include you. Hide-and-Seek is a great game for dogs and dog owners, particularly in a home with a lot of hiding places. Teaching your dog to hide properly can be challenging, but it can be done.

2. Outdoor Adventures

It sounds like a no-brainer. Everyone knows that dogs need to be taken out for a walk. What a lot of dog owners miss, however, is that going for a walk is one of the very favorite activities for pups of all breeds, sizes and ages.

Walking isn't just about getting your dog outside for a bathroom break. Make it more exciting – turn it into an adventure! Walk in new areas, give your dog plenty of time to sniff and explore, and try to go for walks with some of your pup's doggy friends. You can even turn these walks into a dog training opportunity.

Other outdoor adventures like swimming, hiking, paddle boarding and kayaking can also be great fun for dogs. It's mentally and physically stimulating for dogs to explore new places. Your pup will love outdoor adventures, and it's a great way to burn off any excessive energy.

3. Cuddles

Going outside and being active isn’t the only thing dogs love. Physical contact is a big part of keeping your pooch happy. If you're tired after a long day, don't feel like you need to take your dog on a 3 mile hike. Snuggling on the couch will be just fine!

Cuddle time is one of the easiest ways to make a dog happy. Showering him with praise and affection will put a smile on any pup's face. No matter how busy or tired you are, it's important to set aside time everyday to give your dog some physical affection.

dogs playing together

4. Play Dates

Proper socialization is extremely important for dogs. While it would be great fun for a short time, how would you like to interact only with dogs for the rest of your life? After a while you would crave the companionship of another humans. The same can be said for dogs.

Your pup spends most of his time with humans, and that's okay. But, it's important for him to spend time with other dogs too. When you're learning how to make a dog happy, think about setting up play dates with other dogs or taking weekly visits to the dog park to socialize your pet with other dogs.

5. Rotate Toys

New toys are also a great tool to use to make a dog happy. If your dog has an old, chewed-up toy that is his favorite, that’s fine. Keep it. But, giving them a new toy every once in a while is what most dogs actually prefer.

And if your dog(s) are as spoiled as mine, rotate his toys on a regular basis. Put out new toys 2 or 3 times per week. When you put out new toys, pick up some of the other toys and put them away for a while.

Rotating toys keeps your dog mentally stimulated and interested in the toys that he has available. Basically, it's a great way to prevent your dog from getting bored with his toy selection.

6. Interactive Toys

Interactive toys, puzzle toys and treat dispensing toys are another easy way to make your pup happy. They keep him entertained and offer more mental stimulation than traditional chew toys.

I've reviewed many different interactive toys. You can check out these product reviews to see which type of toy may be best for your canine companion:

dog agility training

7. Training

Training is a great way to bond with your dog. You may not think it would be fun for your pet, but it actually is! Dogs love the structure of training, and it is a mentally stimulating activity for them.

If your dog is already trained in obedience, that's okay. You can work on other types of training that will be fun and entertaining for both of you. Agility training, nose work and training your dog to do interesting tricks are all fun ways to make your dog happy.

8. Massage

Just like humans, a dog's body gets tired after a long day. Your dog will enjoy getting a quick massage (when done properly) just as much as you would, because it relaxes their muscles and provides a pleasurable feeling.

There are many health benefits of dog massage. Massaging your pet for at least 10 minutes per day can help:

  • lower the dog's blood pressure
  • increase circulation
  • aid in digestion
  • strengthen his immune system
  • reduce your dog's stress and anxiety
  • rehabilitate tired muscles and reduce pain and swelling

You know your dog better than anyone. You know his likes and dislikes, and you know what makes him happy. Try these tips if you're looking for something new, but remember your pup's old favorites too. It's not hard to make a dog happy, and it's one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do.

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Samantha’s biggest passion in life is spending time with her Boxer dogs. After she rescued her first Boxer in 2004, Samantha fell in love with the breed and has continued to rescue three other Boxers since then. She enjoys hiking and swimming with her Boxers, Maddie and Chloe.