Having a happy dog is super important. It may seem like it takes a lot to keep your dog happy but honestly, it’s quite simple. These are some easy and cheap ways to make sure your dog is happy.
Ways to Keep Your Dog Happy
You don’t even need to do all of these to keep your dog happy. These are what have helped my own dogs, those that I have watched or fostered, or the dogs that belong to my friends and family.
1. Play Hide and Seek
Playing hide and seek is something quite fun for you and your dog. It gives them both mental and some physical exercise. If you play outdoors, they’ll get more physical exercise than they would if you played only indoors.
2. Teach Fun, New Tricks
These can be just about anything. Especially once your dog knows the basic commands, there’s plenty of fun and cute tricks to teach your dog. These can be anything from crawl to spin or even sit pretty. Another fun thing you can teach your dog is to clean up their toys. Although they aren’t necessary for your dog to know, they can be quite fun to teach your dog. They are definitely some fun ways to keep your dog happy.
3. Play Tug
Be careful playing this with puppies or even adult dogs. Don’t be too rough but know the boundaries for you and your dog. It’s great fun for your dog but you don’t want to pull out a baby tooth by accident. It’s also a fun way to reinforce the command “out” when you want your dog to let go or stop playing tug for a minute.
4. Make Homemade Dog Treats
There’s so many dog treats out there that you can buy but why not get creative and make some for your dog. These may become their new favorite treat. Plus it’ll help while training your dog or teaching them fun tricks. It’ll be sure to make your dog happy and help you save money on treats as well. Check out this peanut butter dog treat or these chewy banana treats you can make for your dog.
5. Rotate Dog Toys
Dogs can get bored playing with the same toys every day. A good way to help is to rotate the toys your dog has available to them for playtime. Of course, keep out their favorite toy so they always have that but different toy options make for more fun.
6. Take Your Dog on a Hike
This isn’t for everyone as it’s dependent upon where you live. If you live near a place where you can take your dog on a hike whether at a local park, state park, or even a national park, go for it. It’ll allow your dog to experience new adventures as well as new smells. Having a happy dog is important is this is a way to keep them having plenty of fun.
Walks are always fun for dogs. Some of us (I’m guilty of it) just let them roam the backyard most days instead of taking them for a walk. I do try to take my dogs on a walk once a day or every other day if not more often. This allows them to work on basics such as heel and experience new smells other than the ones they smell every day.
8. Play Fetch
My dogs are happiest outdoors and my German Shepherd is the happiest when outside playing fetch. She would literally play all day long. This is a way I can easily keep my dog happy or one of them anyways. It is also a great physical exercise for your dog. Just be sure to not overwork them and offer plenty of water breaks.
9. Doggie Playdate
Some dogs really enjoy playing with other dogs but sometimes going to the dog park isn’t an option or isn’t a safe option. Getting together with a friend who has a dog and letting the dogs play can be great. It’s good for socialization for your dog and allows both you and your dog to have some fun.
10. Take Your Dog Swimming
Whether you have a pool, the beach, a lake, or a creek, letting your dog go for a swim can be a blast. Of course, not all dogs enjoy the water but it’s another easy way to keep your dog happy and let them have lots of fun. You can let them swim or play fetch by throwing toys in the water where you know they can swim to get it still.
11. Take Your Dog out for a Treat
There are more places than you’d expect that have items for dogs or even a secret menu many don’t know about that offer items for your dog. It’s a way to have some fun, create memories, and bond with your dog. If you do go out though, please make sure your dog is friendly and not aggressive towards people or other dogs. To see a list of places check out this post.
12. Food Dispensing Toy for Mealtime
Instead of just putting the food for your dog in their bowl, add some mental stimulation by using a toy that makes them work for their food. They get to have fun and use their brain while not chugging their food. One of my favorite options is using this Kong Wobbler my dogs are destroyers and Kong products seem to hold up very well. I also enjoy this food dispenser as it also allows your dog to clean their teeth at the same time as trying to get our their food.
13. New Walk Route
Going for walks is great but it’s even better to go on different paths. Don’t always take the same path. Explore new ones or go walk down the opposite side so your dog can sniff and learn to explore the world around them. Plus it offers more stimulation making for a happier dog.
14. Cuddle Time
It’s always nice to relax and cuddle your dog. Not all dogs enjoy being cuddled but those that do will totally be sure to enjoy some affection and relaxation with you. If you have multiple dogs who enjoy being cuddled, be sure to offer them it equally so one doesn’t feel left out.
What is your favorite activity to do with your dog? What keeps your dog happy?
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