In 2015 it was estimated that 24% of households have a dog, which equates to around 8.5 million dogs in the UK. That figure clearly shows we are a nation of dog lovers. We love our furry friends like one of the family, so we do tend to do our best when it comes to their welfare. After all, when our dogs get ill we take them (sometimes drag them!) to the vets pretty quickly. So because of this, I’ve created a list of 5 ways to make your dog happy because happiness has a direct influence on health. Let’s see how we can keep our canine friends happy and healthy…
A Healthy Diet
You remember that old phrase “you are what you eat”? Well that applies to dogs too. Feeding your dog low-quality cheap dog food will have a detrimental effect in the long run. A study by Reviews.com found that many manufacturers of dog food produced unacceptable quality foods. In short, don’t buy cheap food and expect it to have quality ingredients.
By all means give your dogs some of the leftovers from your meals, but not food that is going to be bad for them and upset their stomachs. Throw junk food, spicy food and rich food away rather than in your dog’s bowl. Not only will you be giving them unhealthy food, but they will probably put weight on too. Fish, plain chicken and vegetables are all good foods to give your dog. Just be careful not to end up giving them more than they should have – overweight dogs are not happy or healthy. Processed foods are bad for dogs and bad for humans, but at least we get a choice about what we eat and dogs tend to eat just about anything we let them!
Bonus Tip: Top and tail a carrot and give to your dog as a treat. They are healthy, cheap and help with cleaning their teeth!
Walkies and Stimulation
They say dogs can sleep for most of the day, and I know my two lurchers enjoy their naps, but then they are 13 now so that’s understandable. On the flip side, dogs need plenty of exercise and stimulation. The rule of thumb is that they need at least one walk every day, come rain or shine! So get your boots and coat on and get some fresh air with them. Not only will they enjoy it but you will benefit from the fresh air and gentle exercise too. And if you can’t walk them due to work hours, please consider paying a local dog walker to exercise them instead.
Don’t forget to allow them to sniff the scents on the walk too. This is essential for them to know what is going on in their neighbourhood and sniffing is their primary method of extracting information. Walking is also a great way for you to meet new people and also for our doggies to meet new canine friends.
Your dog needs stimulation, and walks are one of the best ways to give it to them. And if you are wanting to get really fit, why not swap the boots for trainers and go for a jog with them? My dogs love going for a jog and I’ve taught them the correct pace so they are not pulling me down the road anymore! All I have to say is “shall we jog?” and they pick up the pace, their ears go back and they enjoy every minute of it until I have to say “woah!” because I’m not as fit as them 🙂
Spend Quality Time With Your Dog
If at all possible I suggest spending some quality time with them when you’re at home. By this I mean sitting down on the floor with them and having a cuddle. Dogs love to be stroked and it can be very soothing for them. But let’s go further with this – when you’re cuddling them try getting present with them too. What I mean by that is don’t be thinking about other things, just ‘BE’ with them. Clear your mind and realise they are sentient beings with feelings and emotions. This dog is my family. I love this dog. Hold those thoughts and just be in the present moment with your four legged friend. You may find something quite profound happens. By giving them this peaceful, non-judgemental space we can connect with them on another level entirely. And they will love it. It’s a great way to bond with an animal.
Book an Animal Communication Session
There is no better way to understand your dog than with an animal communication session. By finding out what your dog likes and dislikes, and what they need to have a better life can be a transforming experience for both you and your dog. This can be done through email or over the phone so it doesn’t matter where in the world you live. All I need is a photo and your dog’s name.
If your dog is unhappy but you’re not sure why, this can be a great eye-opener to help discover what the problem is. There are so many ways an animal communicator can help your dog, all you need to do is think of the right questions to ask! One thing I always do with communication readings is ask the dog how I can help them. This allows them to pass information along which might not have been done just asking specific questions. It’s a wonderful way to get to the route cause.
Use Holistic Healing for Dogs
Holistic therapies are fast becoming more accepted throughout the science and dog owners world. For years we have used holistic therapies for ourselves with everything from aromatherapy and reiki healing to acupuncture and kinesiology. What we now realise is that most of these therapies can be used to help our furry friends too.
Of course if your dog is unhappy or unwell it is important to let your vet have a look to make sure there is nothing that needs their attention. From a holistic approach you can then look at various complementary therapies to see what works for your dog.
You can book a reiki session for dogs through me or any other reputable animal healer which can help in many ways such as reducing anxiety, removing stress and negative energy patterns as well as just helping to promote a healthy happy dog. There are also many other animal therapies to worthy of your attention. How about trying acupuncture for your dog? There are holistic vets who offer this as a service for all kinds of animals and the results are very positive. Bach Flower Remedies are something you could also consider and there are many animal therapists offering that. Aromatherapy was once seen as a new age practice but has stood the test of time and the Canine Journal has a nice guide about using essential oils on dogs. Just be aware that a dog’s sense of smell is far greater than ours so use aromatherapy wisely.
Is your dog happy?
Do you feel your dog is happy and content, or is there something else you could do to improve their lives with you? Sometimes just a simple change can make a big difference to them, so please have a good look at your dog and decide whether it could be improved. Our four-pawed friends are family, so please treat them like it!
If you have any other suggestions for making your dog happier, please drop a comment below.