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Signs Your Dog is Happy – How to Distinct Happy from Sad Puppy

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Who doesn’t want a happy puppy waving his/her tail? Of course, we do. But sometimes, our puppies are just lying around, and we think, my dog is not happy.

Given that we spend a lot of time with our canine friends, and we treat them like family members, of course, we want our puppies to be happy.

Our dogs send us a lot of signs, through body language and vocalization about the condition they are in. So, what are the signs your dog is happy?

With that in mind, you have to understand that dogs speak their own language. In the wild, dogs understand one another because they live similarly.

But domesticated dogs have adapted to their individual condition and environment. All that being said, here are a couple of signs you can look in your dog to see if he/she is happy.

Good health

Probably the most important of the signs your dog is happy. A healthy dog is a happy dog. A healthy dog is one who has parents that care for him, pay attention to him, and cater to his needs. No dog will jump around if he is sick and in pain.

We have to stress that animals can sometimes hide their pain and suffering. It is part of their survival instinct. That being said, be extra observant, and do not miss regular check-ups at the veterinarian office.

Healthy appetite

One of the first signs of a healthy dog is a dog that eats. If your dog refuses food, and he is hungry, something might be wrong. Dogs that are content with their home do not refuse food.

They have a healthy appetite and will accept food and treats. Of course, every dog has his preferences. And some dogs might refuse the food you give them because they do not want that particular food.

However, if your dog does not show interest in any food, or treats, that is worrisome. Animals do not go on diets and refusing food is usually the first warning sign that something is not OK.

Dogs can suffer from depression, but also trauma or something unexpected that has happened recently.

No signs of aggressive behavior

If your dog is not happy, you will find a mess when you come back home. Happy dogs do not make a mess. Instead, they wait calmly for your arrival, no matter where you are.

Yes, dogs love to be with us at all times. But they understand when you leave the home for work or other activities.

If you notice torn pillows, newspapers, toys spread around the house, broken house plants and similar signs, that means your dog is not happy. Instead, he/she is bored and starts showing signs of aggressive and destructive behavior.

Happy dogs have enough mental and physical stimulation, they do not need to turn the house over when they are home alone. Of course, every dog can be mischievous at times, but if that is a constant, something is not good. An unhappy dog has a lot of energy to burn, and usually, that happens when he is left alone.

Enjoys playing

Dogs love to play. They are quite active and look forward to their playtime. Whether that is a walk in the park, car ride, fetch or playing with some balls, dogs love playing.

Happy dogs are also up and about to greet you when you come back home. They love to be around you and take part in whatever you are doing and it is happening in the home.

If your dog is not active and does not get hyped when you are about to go outside or play, he might be suffering from something. There is definitely something wrong with your dog when he is not interested in getting up.

Happy barking

Yes, we know, dogs bark and owners usually do not want to hear their dog barking. Yes, barking can be an issue, but that applies when barking is aggressive and destructive.

You have to make a distinction between happy barking. To understand it, happy barking is usually higher-pitched barking. When dogs bark in happiness, it does not last that long.

Loves spending time with other dogs

Dogs are social creatures, and they are pack animals. As such, they enjoy the company of other friendly dogs. Of course, not all dogs like each other.

Especially when it comes to male dogs, they can be dominant and aggressive toward each other. However, when your dog is friendly to other animals, that is always a good sign.

Excited to greet you

If you leave your dog home alone, and he is thrilled to see you when you come back, that is one of the signs your dog is happy.

When your dog is happy, he is excited to see you come through the door. And that happens even if you step outside for just a minute, for example, to buy groceries or check the car.

Relaxed posture

One of the signs your dog is happy you can easily notice is the posture of your puppy. How does his posture look? The relaxed posture is what you should look for. That means relaxed eyes and eyelids, blinking a lot, and his gaze is soft and his brow is smooth.

The relaxed dog has his ears relaxed, not cocked or pointing at something. His mouth should be open a bit, with only a few teeth visible. Your dog might even appear to be smiling, as his tongue may be lolling.

Observe his body language, and see if his body is soft, loose, wiggly, and carrying his tail in a relaxed manner.

Hard gaze, narrowed eyes, pulled back ears, those are all signs your dog might be alert, scared, or shows signs of aggression.

Tail movement

A wagging tail can be interpreted in several ways. One is a happy dog, but another is a sign not to get close. It all depends on how fast your dog is wagging his tail. And of course, how he is carrying his body. Remember body language signs above.

When your dog is happy, he waves his tail with the whole body involved. However, when your dog has a stuffed body, and his tail is moving rapidly from side to side, it might be a sign of irritation.

Belly rubs

When your dog has his belly up, he is definitely happy. The belly is the most vulnerable part of your dog’s body. And when he is exposing his belly to you, that is a sign of something big. And if his tongue is hanging out, your dog is oozing with happiness and enjoyment.

Showing you his belly up is a sign that he trusts you completely, and that he would love a belly rub. Better give him a scratch fast!

How to make your dog even happier?

To make your dog happy, you have to provide for his physical, mental, intellectual, and emotional needs. That means feeding your dog a healthy diet, giving him treats, an appropriate amount of exercise, mental stimulation, and of course, lots of love and affection.

But to make sure your dog is happy, you also have to look after yourself. Dogs react to our moods in addition to their own happiness. When you are not happy, your dog will probably not be happy as well.

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