5 Things You Can Do to Make Your Dog Happier

January 25, 2015



The holidays are over.  Most of us are back at work. One way or the other, most of us were very busy with this once-a-year activity, called Christmas, or more aptly, the silly season. 


It is not unusual to come to the realisation that the pets have had to play second fiddle to all this activity. 



They get fed, sure.  In fact they were probably fed too generously, by you, the kids, the guests. . . .  But after that, either they found a safe spot, away from the visiting kids who had been harassing her, or else it was banished to the garage because it dared to show disapproval at a little kid riding its back! 



There was just too much to do, too many people to see, too many trips out with friends, so who has the time to talk to Little Miss Feline, or Mr Doggie Bark?




Forget the idea of feeling guilty.  It wont do you any good and it does not help any pet.  Let us be brave and positive.




What can we do to make up? 




5 Things You Can Do Today to Make Your Dog Happier



After the holidays, as you’re hustling to get back into the swing of your normal, everyday life, you might feel a wee bit guilty that you’re not spending as much quality time with your pup as you’d like. And those puppy dog eyes she’s giving you aren’t making it any easier, are they?


But you know what? Guilt really doesn’t do you or your pet any good, so instead of beating yourself up about not spending the whole day at the dog park, follow some simple tips. By adding just a couple of these activities into your routine, you could have a much happier dog in 2015 — and we have a feeling that might make you smile, too.



1. Give her great self-entertainment options like food puzzles.


Most of us are guilty of giving our pets extra treats to compensate for not spending enough time with them, but we all know that’s not a great plan. Giving your pup new and interesting ways to get her daily nutrition is a far healthier option.


Behaviorist Dr. Wailani Sung is a big proponent of food puzzles, which are toys created to hide food so your pet has to work to find it. “Puzzle toys/interactive toys are great in keeping our dogs mentally stimulated,” she explains. “It is fun for owners to watch their dogs try to figure out how to get the food out, and [these toys] give dogs a great outlet for their energy, both physically and mentally,” Dr. Sung says. She compares the extra mental effort food puzzles take to the extra effort and focus it would take for her to read a textbook rather than a trashy novel. Having to think about how to get his food — and physically work at it — means your dog expends more energy.


“In the wild, animals have to spend significant amounts of time hunting/foraging for food. In our typical households, the dog does no work prior to getting his meal,” Sung says. “If we provide our dogs with an opportunity to work out his energies, then you have a healthier dog, physically and mentally. If your dog is busy working for his meal, he does not have time to chew on your table leg or counter surf or exhibit other inappropriate behaviors.”


2. Organize outings to see other dogs or people.


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