For those that have come to our house or seen us out and about with our sweet pup, often comment on what a good girl she is and how HAPPY she is. While the husband and I are by no means dog whisperers, we do have a few tips on how we raised our HAPPY Dog and would love to share in hopes of helping your do the same.
- Boundaries and Rules – This is the big one. Its important to establish boundaries and rules within your home and stick to them. If its not okay for your dog to chew up your Italian leather heels (true story) then you need to let your dog know that. If you want them to stay at your side when on a walk, then make sure that is what happens EVERY TIME. Each dog is different and each rule needs to be established based on that dog, so some rules might be harder to maintain then others, but stick with it.
- Exercise – Our pups are just like us and need exercise every day. This will help with your dog’s energy too. If you have a high energy dog, then making sure they get out, run, burn that energy is important, especially for the young puppies and dogs. We’ve always kept our girl well walked, exercised. Now that she’s older, she doesn’t run as fast or walk as far, but we still make sure she gets out and stretches her legs and gets the heart pumping.
- Food – This is another big one and is something we feel pretty strongly about. Making sure your pup is eating a natural based dog food like NUTRO™ DOG FOOD, so its not filled with artificial flavors and colors. Yucky. Real ingredients and whole grains.We also stick to only feeding her dog food. No people food. While I know this is a hard one, and even some of my extended family do differently, we think it helps keep her insides healthy. People food sometimes contains seasonings and oils that aren’t necessarily good for dogs and so we’ve stuck with only feeding her dog food for her 11+ years and she has been an extremely healthy dog.
- Love & Fun – This might go without saying, but one of the major ways we have a HAPPY dog is to make sure she feels loved and has some fun in her life. Our girl LOVES, LOVES, LOVES herself the snow. While we live in Southern California where it doesn’t snow, we make sure we take her with us when we’re traveling to snow. Being a true Southern California dog, she also has the most fun playing in the waves. While its not something we can do every day, making time to make sure we’re doing something that is fun for her is important. Its also not always about going places either. Our dog loves to run around the room and play tag and so every day or every other day, we make sure she gets to have some fun doing that and making sure she knows she is loved and that we care about her. Also, don’t underestimate the power of petting and giving your dog love every day multiple times a day. We as a family wake up and give each other kisses and hugs and our dog is no different. She gets hugs from each of us each morning and before we leave the house. We assure we are coming back to her and that we missed her when we get home.
- Space – We feel that giving your dog their own space helps in making them HAPPY. Whether its a dog house, a crate, or pillow, we think it helps with their happiness to know that there is one space that is all their own. It doesn’t have to be big, but just as humans we hope to have a space (bed, chair, room) where we can go to relax and unwind (find their chi), we have always made sure Caddie has somewhere she can have that.
Again we are by no means experts but we do hope that these help in making your dog a HAPPY one! We’d love to hear about what’s worked for you and your dog!
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