How to Know If Your Dog is Happy | 14 Tell-Tale Signs

How to know if your dog is happy? It sounds like a million-dollar question isn’t it?

It is overwhelming to own a dog, and a dog owner for sure needs to have psychic ability. With every bark, you will need to figure out what is the dog wanting to communicate.

As a dog owner, you need to figure out the slightest noise, bark, or even wagging tail; each dog’s movement needs to be analyzed. You are always thinking that the dog is following you all over the house for the reason of love or hunger.

The dog, just like a child, cannot communicate all true feelings but hopes that you understand. Being a dog owner, you have the responsibility of assuring his happiness.

You need to know how to make your dog happy; you cannot talk to your dog but can definitely understand the signs of a happy dog or, if the need, the signs of an unhappy dog. If you closely follow these signs, you will be better positioned to understand your dog’s true feelings.

Signs of a Happy Dog

If you’re still guessing how to know if your dog is happy or know if your dog loves you, he’s got few common body language traits. A happy dog, just like a happy human, behaves and presents his body in a certain way, and it’s as follows:

How to Know If Your Dog is Happy

The oh-so-cute puppy-dog eyes

Happy dogs have relaxed, soothing eyes and eyelids. Happy dogs blink often, and their gaze is soft and soothing just the way you want your happy baby to be. If your dog has narrowed eyes and a hard gaze, then it’s a sign of aggression, and on the other hand, if your dog has wide eyes, it implies that your dog is scared.

Relaxed ears

Different dogs have different shapes of ears, but happy dogs, in general, wear their ears in a relaxed way. A happy dog has either one ear cocked up, or both the ears may be loose or floppy. If the dog’s ears are pinned back, it could imply that the dog is either scared or irritated. However, if the dog has ears pricked forward, it could mean that they are curious about the happenings of their surroundings.

Relaxed mouth

A happy dog smiles. It may seem weird, but it is true and a common sign of a happy dog. Happy dogs have their mouth open with a few teeth being visible. If the dog has an open mouth and is panting, it implies that it is stressed or overheated.

Movement of the tail

The way a dog wags its tails depicts many things. If the dog is wagging the tail along with the full-body, then the dog is happy. In case the dog is stiff and is only wagging his tail, it implies that the dog is indicating a new situation. If the tail wag is soft and loose and the body is loose, then it implies that the dog is excited and happy to see you.

The tail carriage

A happy dog has its entire body and the tail in relaxed mode then it implies that it is comfortable and needs nothing. However, each breed of dog has a different tail carriage. A happy dog will raise his tail. If the tail is too high, it implies that the dog is overstimulated. A dog with the tail pinned under the body implies that the dog is scared to a great extent.

Merry playtime

A happy dog enjoys playtime and walks. If the dog is very quiet or is not interested in walks, it implies that they are not feeling well. This is a situation where you need to visit the vet to ensure that your dog is injured or not.

Moves and grooves

Knowing if your puppy is happy is the simplest way if your puppy or dog dances, then it is happy. Dancing not in its real sense but bouncing from side to side, hopping, and ready to play. They usually do this when they see someone who makes them happy.

Cool and calm behavior

Commonly, dogs constantly chew as they use their mouth to explore the environment. But if the dogs are chewing excessively and if an adult dog is doing this, it implies that the dog is stressed or simply bored. A happy dog never destroys your homes, but if it does so, then the dog is simply bored or unhappy. Also, separation pangs and separation anxiety can lead to destructive behavior in dogs.

Healthy eating habit

A happy dog has a good appetite. If there is a sudden and substantial loss of appetite in the dog, it could mean that it is either sad or under stress. However, if the dog is eating way too much, it could mean that it has any disease.

Lolling tongue and sleep

Dogs sleep with their tongues out because they are relaxed. A happy adult dog sleeps for some 16 hours a day, and if not, it could be a sign of stress and anxiety.

Healthy coat

If your dog has a healthy, shiny coat, then it is happy. If the dog is stressed, it will shed its coat obnoxiously, and the skin will lose its shine and appears flaky. The dog could be having a skin disease that may lead to shedding, so consult a vet in this situation.

Belly’s up

A happy dog will show you its belly with an open mouth and tongue out for belly rub to show its affection and happiness. It is one of the surefire signs of a happy dog. But if the dog is stiff with mouth shut, then it could imply stress or discomfort.

Excited to see you

Happy dogs welcome you home. They are happy and excited when they see you or when you wake up. They will lean on you or lick you to show their happiness and contentment. Their excitement shows how much they love you.

Love for other dogs

A content dog loves the company of other dogs. Although each dog behaves differently, a happy dog plays with other dogs and is not aggressive to other dogs.

Signs of an Unhappy Dog

If you are worried about your furry companion’s activities, there are a few signs that describe your pet’s sad and unhappy mood. You have a clear idea of how to know if your dog is happy, but when he’s sad, you might be clueless about it.

Signs of an Unhappy Dog

Having an unhappy and depressed dog is heartbreaking. Several factors could lead to the somber mood of your dog.

  1. Your dog may sleep more than usual and will not want to move out of its bed. There will be a loss of energy levels and lost interest in playing and everything or going for a walk.
  2. Eat more or less. Usually, a depressed dog stops eating, or even if it eats, the quantity is significantly less.
  3. Hides from you or avoids you. Suddenly you may observe that your dog is hiding from you and wants to be left alone.
  4.  An unhappy dog tries to soothe itself by licking himself. Thus if your dog is licking excessively then, it implies that your dog needs help.

There are clear indications that it the time for you to intervene and sort out the issue that is bothering your canine friend. Depression in dogs can be clear, and in this case, you need to consult a veterinary behaviorist or a trainer.

How to make your dog happy?

A dog is your fur baby and loves you without any expectation, and thus to ensure his happiness, you make sincere efforts. You firstly need to read the happy dog body language section above, and if you find that your dog is not happy (or he is), you better do the following:

How to make your dog happy?

Treat with new gifts

Similar to kids, even dogs like new gifts. With the same toys, they get bored, so either buy them new toys or maintain a cycle of toys, give them toys in a rotation, and be happy. And if you ever run out of treats, a pat will make them more than happy – a study proves it.

Train your dog

Dogs are great learners, and it is a great way to connect and bond with your dog. Teach the dog patience and new tricks. Your dog will love this session with you and be a happy and contented dog.

Bath time

Bathing is refreshing for all. However, dogs do not like frequent baths, but bathing helps them stay fresh and away from allergies. As per his breed, bath him 2 to 3 times a month.

Healthy and nutritional diet

A healthy and balanced diet for your dog will help him to stay happy. If you want to figure out what and how much to feed him, consider your dog’s age and energy level and maintain his healthy weight and give him a healthy diet. Apart from a nutritious diet, it is also crucial that you feed the dog with love. Also, whenever possible, feed the dog yourself. The dog will sense your love and be happy. Also, keep the food changing for your dog. Else it will get bored of the same food and start to dislike it.

Stay calm around your dog

The way kids follow their parents, your pooch will follow you. If you are stressed, anxious, nervous, or sad around your dog, the dog will imitate the same feelings. Around your dog, be happy and calm and see your dog being the same.

Take him to the vet regularly

You may know and understand your dog, but a vet still knows better than you. Take your dog to the vet once every six months for regular check-ups. The vet will also guide you with the ideal weight, food, vaccinations, and any query regarding the dog.

Let the dog socialize

Dogs are social beings. They love meeting new dogs and people. If they meet new dogs and play with them, they are happy. However, if your dog is introverted, slowly and gradually introduce him to people, or else he will be stressed.

Communicate with dog

A dog needs your attention. If you communicate with your dog with baby talks, cuddle it, and rub his belly, he will be super happy, and it will have shine in its eyes. 

Summing Up

With all your attention, read the body language of a happy dog, know when your dog is unhappy and follow the tips to make him happy. This will ensure that you have a happy dog running in your house and expressing his love for you. Now I’m sure you’ve mastered – how to know if your dog is happy.

Here’s a cute video compilation of cheerful dogs. I’m sure you’ll relate to these signs of a happy dog.

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