If there's one thing we know, it's what makes dogs tick. There are other beasts that evade us... we couldn't tell you the back to front of a crustacean (so please don't ask us to walk your lobster). But canines are our world; our bread and butter; our muse; our life's work.
We spend a fair bit of time thinking about dog behaviour, and by virtue of this, their emotions. What makes them joyful? What makes them glum? As a dependent family member, their contentedness with life usually relies heavily upon decisions made by their caregiver - i.e. dog owners, or "pet parents" as we prefer to be known! After all, how can you really own a soul? #separateblogpost #potentiallytoodeep
We're fortunate through what we do to know some exceptionally dedicated dog owners. They're our clients, our colleagues, and our friends in the park. And after studying them for a while, we noticed they have a few habits in common which make their dogs really stand out as the happiest little Vegemites in the dog park. They're carefree and confident, well-adjusted, and they usually live pretty long, healthy lives. We thought we'd share what we've observed...
Happy dogs are considered the member of a family - not just a "pet"
Ok - so this doesn't mean they eat at the table with a knife and fork. But on a general level, dogs like to feel included and valued in their family unit. Just like us, they need to feel loved. Also just like us, their bodies can release oxytocin (the love hormone) when they feel connected with their owners, particularly through eye contact.
Happy dogs are appreciated for being perfectly canine
Ever tried to be someone you're not? It's hard! The happiest dogs are allowed to be dogs - they can splash in puddles and mud; they can bark and play at the park; they can dig the occasional hole; they can chase the odd bird from time to time. Disclaimer - we're not talking about ignoring genuine "problem behaviours". But happy dogs have a bit of freedom and leeway to relish in the glory of dog-hood, which is occasionally messy and noisy, and always undignified. Their owners know when to have a laugh.
Happy dogs are engaged in conversation
Don't leave us hanging - admit you do this too! The happiest dogs are talked to by their owners. We sometimes take it one step further and ask questions. As the ultimate companion animal, they've been bred to interact with us - so they truly appreciate when we engage them for a chat, regardless of whether they speak English. Some even continue to head-tilt for their entire lives!
Happy dogs spend quality time with their nearest & dearest
Time is a funny thing - it's arguably our most precious commodity, and yet completely intangible. For a dog, "time together" and "quality time together" are two different things. Time together is being in the same place doing different things - e.g. going for a dog walk whilst scrolling through Pinterest. Quality time requires connection - it's going for the same walk, but playing an interactive ball game or learning some new tricks. In today's society, many owners are time-poor due to work/family commitments, so we provide quality time where they can't. If this is you - don't stress, just click here for help!
Happy dogs are fully enriched
Happy dogs have their needs met - they are given a warm, safe, and comfortable place to sleep; fed nutritious food; health care; and they're lavished with love and affection. They're also mentally stimulated with training and interaction; socialised with other dogs; and physically exercised every day. In other words, they live a fully enriched canine existence. Again, we help to provide this to dedicated dog owners who would love to but can't... so if you need a hand with your dog, or want to find out more about what we do, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So - how do these 5 things translate to you and your dog? We think most people reading this post will be #nailingit when it comes to devoted dog ownership... because you wouldn't be here if you weren't dog obsessed! In fact, we wonder if you think we've missed any happy dog habits?
If you're a "crazy dog lady" or "mad dog lad"... follow us on Instagram and shout out / comment on one of our pics, so we can see how you're #makingdogshappy !