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10 Signs Your Dog is Happy

Have you ever wondered how to know if your dog is happy? It doesn’t take much! Any of these signs of a happy dog sound familiar?


A smiling dog on a leash

10 Signs of a Happy Dog

Have you ever wondered how to know if your dog is happy? It doesn’t take much! Simply walking into the room is often enough for your sweet buddy to get excited. But there’s happy and there’s absolutely, fur-standing-on-end, circle-spinning elated. That’s when you know you’ve gone above and beyond to really make your dog’s day. Any of these signs of a happy dog sound familiar?

  1. Getting lots of sleep
    Happy and healthy adult dogs get many hours of sleep a day. If you and your dog have had an exciting day full of jogs, games of fetch and other fun activities, your dog may be so happy and satisfied that she doesn’t have any energy left. Instead of pacing around the house like normal, she may be passed out on the bed—or couch or the middle of the kitchen floor—snoring contentedly. If your dog’s sleep schedule shifts or she’s not sleeping that much, it could be a sign of stress or unhappiness.
  2. Soft, relaxed eye contact
    Eye contact is a major sign of trust in dogs, so those loving looks the two of you share while sitting together after a long day of hanging out are sure signs of a happy dog. When a dog is happy, their eye contact will be relaxed and soft, and they will continue to blink often.
  3. Good behavior on walks
    The world is full of a bunch of stuff that dogs find really cool—mailmen, squirrels, a weird smell that’s just begging to be investigated, you name it! Sometimes they need to follow their doggy hearts (and noses) to run after whatever catches their attention. If your good girl always comes back to you the moment you call her name, it means that she finds you way cooler than whatever she was after—and that’s a sign of a very happy dog.
  4. A healthy appetite
    Every dog has their own eating habits and appetite. Some may be grazers, while others may eat their meals as quickly as possible. Regardless of how quickly they eat, dogs that are content and feeling well will have good appetites. A change in their eating behavior is a sign of potential unhappiness or illness.
  5. Wagging tail and body
    The most well-known sign of a happy dog is a high and wagging tail. Although every dog breed has a different relaxed tail position, happy dogs will generally raise their tails slightly. And when a dog is really happy, his whole body can wiggle along with his wagging tail. 
  6. Floppy ears
    Although ear shapes vary greatly depending on the breed, a happy dog’s ears are relaxed and will fall naturally against their heads. Ears that are pulled forward or back are signs of different moods, including hyper-interest and stress.
  7. “Zoomies”
    Have you ever wondered “are zoomies a sign of a happy dog?” The answer is yes! Zoomies, or sudden bursts of energy and running around, are a playful way your dog can show off their happiness. When a dog experiences the zoomies, they may also display other signs of happiness, such as a wagging tail and playful expressions. These quick bursts of energy are a great sign of contentment.
  8. Smiling expression
    You can see it not just in the shape of her mouth, but in the way her eyes beam, and her ears perk up when you enter a room. Happy dogs often appear to be smiling, even during the most mundane of activities. Your dog’s happy facial expression may look like the corners of her mouth are turned up. While some teeth may be visible, it is not in an aggressive way. A soft and open mouth indicates happiness.
  9. Playful stance and attitude 
    Dogs have all sorts of funny ways to initiate play with other pups and, of course, their favorite people. The “play bow” is a common move that you’re probably familiar with—front legs and head down on the floor, butt and wagging tail up in the air. If you see this move every day (or several times a day), you can rest assured that you have one happy dog! Happy dogs may also present their favorite toy to you to gain your attention and encourage playtime.
  10. Enjoying petting and cuddles
    A grateful dog may cuddle as close as possible while you sleep or relax on the couch. Happy dogs tend to make a lot of body contact with their favorite humans. If your dog stays close, or even leans in toward your hand while being pet, they are happy and enjoying the contact.

How to Make Your Dog Even Happier

Having a happy dog comes down to providing them with a nurturing environment and caring for both their physical and mental needs. Now that you know the signs of a happy dog, take a second to explore our tips for how to make your dog even happier.

  • Provide regular exercise: Engage your dog in physical activities that suit their age and energy level. This could include daily walks, playing fetch, or even hiking with your dog! Daily activity can help maintain your dog’s health and allow them to release energy, contributing to an overall happier attitude.
  • Offer mental stimulation: Interactive toys, food puzzles, and training sessions are all great examples of mental stimulation for your dog. These activities can prevent boredom and promote a sense of accomplishment in canines. Bonus points, activities like obedience classes and learning new trick can also strengthen the bond between you and your dog!
  • Fuel with a balanced diet: Providing your dog with a nutritious and balanced diet is a crucial component for supporting their mental and physical well-being. Fuel that happy wag every day with a bowl of Nature’s Recipe® dog food. There is a recipe for every dog, whether you’re looking for grain free dog food or puppy food.
  • Give quality time and attention: Dogs thrive on companionship. Spend quality time with your dog every day, providing attention and affection. These activities can help strengthen your bond and contribute to their happiness. 
  • Maintain a safe and comfortable environment: Creating a safe and enjoyable living space for your dog is important. Provide a comfortable bed, access to water and food, and plenty of toys! This also means keeping dangerous items out of their reach. Providing a safe, stress-free environment can contribute to a sense of security and contentment in your pup.

It’s important to note that every dog has unique preferences and needs, so you should tailor their environment and activities appropriately. By providing a loving, stimulating, and nurturing lifestyle, you can contribute to your dog’s overall well-being and ensure they live a happy life. There’s never a dull moment when your dog’s happy!

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