How to Make Your Dog’s Life Better

How do you make your dog's life better?Our dogs make us feel loved and treasured, just by being their happy-go-lucky, cuddly selves. There are many studies that show owning a dog boosts quality of life and happiness, but what have we done lately to help our dog feel fulfilled? This question is what the team at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates set out to answer, and we’re eager to share what we found!

Tips to Make Your Dog’s Life Better

Although treats, walks, and snuggles probably top their list of things that make them happy, what do dogs really need? Since we all want to make our dog’s life better, here’s a list of things you can do to help your dog’s life better.

Maintain good health. Good health can truly give your dog a better life. Providing a high quality diet, ensuring plenty of exercise, and protecting them from pests and parasites all go a long way to helping your pet live life to the fullest. Of course, we include annual preventive care exams in this list, as well!

Give direction. Dogs are people pleasers with seemingly endless amounts of energy. However, to make your dog’s life better, they need to channel this energy, and that takes human guidance. After all, it’s how they were bred. Without focus, control, and etiquette, dogs can become insecure and even aggressive. A dog who knows the rules will be more at ease. To that end, be sure to provide obedience training, consistency, and clear boundaries for your dog.

Provide socialization. Dogs crave social interaction and experiences. Just keep in mind, they’re happiest with those they know. This explains why dogs dropped into doggy day cares or busy dog parks sometimes don’t do well or even act aggressively at first. Your dog will react best in situations that include other familiar animals or a small group of playmates. And remember, expanding social horizons is most successful when done gradually.

Fight boredom. Dogs need to problem solve and use their minds and bodies in order to feel fulfilled. Without these things, they become energy bubbles that eventually burst with some form of misbehavior. To enrich their lives, provide your pet with a stimulating environment that takes their breed and personality into account. Have a herding breed? Take them for herding practice. A retriever? Keep them stimulated with different toys to retrieve for you. Make your dog’s life better with an agility class, new tricks, or a food puzzle.

Make them work. While this may sound harsh, it’s been researched that dogs prefer to work for their rewards. Whether it’s treats, praise, or a walk with you, dogs feel fulfilled when they perform work. Try having your pet sit for their treat instead of just giving it to them or engage your pet in scent work to find their favorite toy.

Be their leader. Dogs are most happy when they’re part of a pack or a cohesive team. Be the leader that your dog wants in their pack by exuding confidence and positivity (and, of course, get down on the floor and give them lots of attention and love). Also consider their need for you to be a master of calm, safety, and security.

Keep them tidy. Dogs need grooming to feel their best. Keep the coat brushed and free of mats, trim the nails, and keep the ears clean. These things allow for easier movement, better overall hygiene, and make your dog more comfortable. Enlist the help of a professional groomer if you aren’t able to provide this yourself.

Are there other ways you make your dog’s life better? Give us a call and let us know!