When you love your dog, you would do nearly anything to make them happy, but what does it take to make dogs happy? If you think our pups love everything we love, then the truth might surprise you. Dogs are not humans, and while they do share many of our needs, such as good sleep habits, healthy food, and plenty of exercise, their interests might not always coordinate with ours. Knowing what our dogs need and providing it for them on their schedule will improve their lifestyles, their lives, and their sense of wellbeing now and for many years to come.
An Active Lifestyle
Humans and dogs alike need plenty of exercise. Whether you have a little Terrier or a large Labrador, your dog does not just enjoy but needs routine exercise. The amount and type of exercise they might need can vary depending on size, breed, and temperament. Still, regular activity will keep your dog fit and healthy and reduce their risk of heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
Some great dog exercise ideas include:
- Daily walks or runs
- Tug of war
- Stair climbs
- Flirt pole
- Playing frisbee
Making a game out of exercise can also help you and your pup bond. Even better, keeping your dog busy and engaged will reduce the risk of problem behaviors, like nuisance barking and chewing.
A Busy Mind
Your dog might not look like a thinker, but dogs have a lot going on in their noggins. That incredible sniffer needs to do a little bit of snuffling to keep those neurons firing properly. Fine-tune your pup’s sense of smell and keep their brain buzzing with a variety of interactive tools and games, such as:
- Treat-filled toys or food puzzles
- Nose-work or snuffle mats
- DIY obstacle courses
- Frozen Kongs
You can even try teaching a few new tricks or commands. Your dog will be so excited to show off the next time you have guests!
Just like all dogs need different amounts of exercise, they also need different amounts of mental stimulation for dog mental health. When your dog shows signs of frustration, it might be time to stop the training for the day and rest or relax and find a new activity.
Routine, Routine, Routine
Just like toddlers, dogs thrive on a daily dog routine. They want to know when to expect meals, they like the predictability of established walking routes and schedules, they want to know when playtime is, and they feel most secure when they understand what you expect from them.
Of course, no one’s life is set in stone. You will occasionally have small disruptions to your schedule, but you can help your dog thrive by keeping them on a schedule that includes regular meals, walks, playtime, and other activities scattered throughout the day. They’ll be less likely to become bored and destructive or develop bad or even potentially dangerous habits.
Most of our dogs enjoy meeting with friends from time to time. Whether you are a single-pup household or you have several dogs or pets in your family, your dog will enjoy going out and meeting friends from time to time. Visit us at Dog Thrive for doggy daycare. Your dog will be able to play with plenty of friends indoors or out at our state-of-the-art play facilities. Even better, our dog experts have everything on-site to keep your dog physically and mentally engaged and active all day long. We even offer comfortable, cozy boarding facilities for when “mom or dad” needs some time away! Call us today to learn more about Dog Thrive or to schedule a visit for your pup!