6 Ways to Give Your Dog a Happier Life

Loretta Jane

It's well-known that dogs are excellent candidates for a best friend. They're loyal, they're always happy to see you, and their pack mentality makes them excellent companions. The question is, what are you giving your dog in return? Exercise, attention and shelter are some of the givens of dog ownership, but there is a lot more to keeping them happy. Keep reading for six things to try with your dog today.

1. Clean Up Their Diet

When it comes to dog food, many people think there isn't much to it — but that couldn't be farther from the truth. With so many options, it's not easy to make a decision. It's important to understand different ingredients and the overall makeup of the product. Doing research on what's in different foods — Dr. Marty Nature's Blend ingredients, for example, is a great way to determine if the product is suitable for your dog.
Remember that introducing a new food needs to happen gradually to prevent digestive upset. Also, be mindful of how many treats you offer.

2. Challenge Their Mind

Just as with humans, dogs can get bored too. No matter what their age, it's important to keep their minds sharp and their bodies engaged. Wondering what this means? Take them for a walk or hike as often as you can. Bring them along on car rides or consider a day or two a week at doggy daycare for socialization and a change of scenery.
This is important for dogs of all ages, but it's especially beneficial for senior dogs. This is when symptoms of dementia and anxiety tend to surface, so the stimulation will keep them alert and present.

3. Pamper Them With Grooming and Massage

Did you know that regular grooming and massage is not only a great way to take care of your dog, but to bond with them too?
Chances are you know that proper grooming is essential for the health of your dog's skin and coat. If you feel you aren't able to do a thorough job, don't hesitate to call a trusted groomer to get the job done. It ensures their fur is clean, trimmed and brushed and that their ears and teeth are also properly maintained. Another advantage to this is you'll decrease your chances for vet visits due to issues such as hot spots and ear infections.
Have you ever noticed that your dog loves belly rubs or scratches behind the ears? Try giving a massage next. It's an effective way to calm anxiety, warm up before exercise and soothe sore muscles and joints. There are proper techniques, so familiarize yourself with them before trying it out.

4. Take Care of Yourself

In order to take good care of your dog, you need to take good care of yourself. There's more to this than eating well and getting exercise. Doing whatever you can to manage stress and maintain a sense of normalcy and consistency in life will have a positive impact on your dog. Remember, owning a dog is a huge responsibility and they need you to be your best.  

5. Provide Opportunities for Learning

Training your dog is possible at any age, no matter what the age-old saying might tell you. This is especially important to remember because training is a great way to build on your relationship with your dog, to tackle a task together. Think about how happy and proud they will be to feel your joy when they master something new.

6. Just Love Them

Have you ever noticed how petting or hugging your dog makes you feel more relaxed, a bit happier? You've got the natural release of feel-good hormones to thank for that. This goes both ways, so the next time you have a snuggle session with your dog remember you're making them feel just as great as you are.