Man’s best friend— it’s a classic phrase. Dogs brings companionship and happiness to our lives, but have you ever thought about how we, as owners can bring happiness to their lives? In order for our dogs to be happy, healthy members of the family, there are a few things that every dog needs.
Open Line of Communication- People and dogs don’t start off “speaking the same language.” It’s normal for you or your pet to become frustrated when you can’t understand each other. When dogs don’t understand, they act out. This is where training comes in because it gives you and your dog a shared language. The training tips outlined in our post on how to teach your dogs and kids to be BFFs are a good start at learning how to communicate and interact with your dog.
Physical Exercise- Big or small, every dog needs physical exercise. Experts suggest that they get about 30 minutes per day. This could come from a walk around the block or playing fetch. Some dogs may need more physical activity if they possess a lot of energy. Find positive ways to let them burn it off; otherwise, they’ll find their own ways, and chances are, you won’t like their ideas!
Mental Stimulation- Dogs and humans are the same in that we all need mental stimulation to stay healthy. Playing with our dogs or teaching them new tricks and practicing “old” tricks are great ways to exercise their brains. Another way we can help stimulate our dogs when we aren’t with them is to give them interactive toys, like puzzles, which hold treats. If a dog works hard enough, a treat falls out. Since dogs are genetically wired to hunt for food, this type of toy provides a good way to give your dog a “job” to do. Dogs act out with what we consider to be bad behaviors, like chewing on furniture or digging under the fence, because they are looking for something to occupy their time. They crave mental stimulations just as we do.