How stressful is your normal day? For the average person, the answer would be ‘very stressful.’ Between handling our personal obligations, waking up early to go to work, and commuting– not to mention the troubles that come with our jobs and personal relationships, things can and do get quite overwhelming for most people. This is why each one of us needs to have an activity or something to help us unwind and relax. While some people do yoga or play music, nothing beats the soothing effects of petting a dog. They are the best stress relievers out there!
Yet, have you ever asked yourself if your dog is happy? Dogs experience a range of emotions, albeit not as wide as humans’. But they experience sadness and happiness, and you have to make sure their mental health is good, too. Here’s how you can know if your dog is happy.
The first and most obvious indicator of your dog’s state of mind is their body language. They have a way of expressing themselves when they are happy and excited, and you could easily tell if they’re happy by observing their physical behavior. What is the first thing that your dog does when you come back home after a long day at work? They wag their tail and come to you for pets. So, that high and Waggy tail is the first sign that they are happy and in a good mood.
Another solid indicator is how relaxed the dog’s body is. When they are happy, their shoulders and entire body are relaxed and loose. If their posture is stiff, it might indicate that they are tense or agitated. Happy dogs also tend to have wide eyes that are soft and relaxed, but if they are aggressive for any reason, their eyes would be narrowed and their gaze fierce. It is these symptoms that you need to be mindful of.
You need to understand your dog’s psyche well enough to know what kind of situations, stress them out, so you can avoid those. While the breed can play a part in this –– as some dog breeds might be more aggressive than others, there are other factors to consider. As explained on dogtemperament.com, you need to evaluate your dog’s temperament when they are around other dogs, for starters.
How do they react when around other dogs? Does the dog jump up and down and play with others, or do they sit back and observe from afar? That latter attitude might indicate they are unhappy or have some temperament problems, which you should address with the help of an expert trainer.
Dogs are playful by nature, and if yours is happy, then they’d want to play, too. A very important sign you need to look out for is your dog’s energy levels. Are they playful and always up for some fetch or another activity? Do they get excited when you take them for a walk, or do you have to drag them? Happy dogs love to play, and if yours doesn’t, it might mean that they are unhappy. It could also be a sign of health problems, which is why you need to have them checked by a vet if this energy drop persists.
Dogs love to chew, but with proper training, they won’t use that passion to destroy your place or act naughty. If your dog suddenly starts chewing on your couch despite you repeatedly telling them not to, they might be acting out because of some unhappiness or other problems. This type of destructive behavior is often hiding an underlying problem as most experts explain, like boredom or anxiety.
There’s nothing like snuggling with a dog. They love it, and it also relaxes humans and helps them get rid of stress. Happy and healthy dogs are very affectionate and they usually appreciate being petted and hugged by their owners. If your dog starts shying away from this type of physical contact, it might be an indication that they are unhappy. If they move away when you try to pet them, or they stopped trying to grab your attention, these can all be signs of unhappiness or anxiety.
You need to keep an eye out for those signs because your dog’s happiness is a serious matter. They bring us so much joy and love, and the least we can do is look after their mental health and make sure they’re happy, too. If you ever notice any symptoms of unhappiness with your dog, take them to a vet to see what is wrong with them. The sooner you treat them, the faster they can go back to bringing you joy and happiness.
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