Dogs that have their basic needs met are said to be happy and healthy. Some dogs have needs that are a must, as we humans do. I must have kitchen roll in my house and for my dog Bruno it is his squeaky yellow ball. Bruno (and the dogs I look after) also love treat time and sleeping next to humans and, in summer, outside in our garden.
When I first got Bruno, he didn’t like peanut butter spread, but all that changed when two other dogs we were caring for went mad for it. He now loves to lick his peanut butter toy spread. Dogs have their own preferences about what they love, but sometimes other dogs can influence their choices and taste in things. I guess like humans we are influenced by others too in the things that we learn to love!
Here is list of five things I think dogs love and need to make them feel happy. Of course, there are a lot more things that dogs needs but this is a starting point:
1. Your scent
Your scent is like sweet music to your dog. Dogs love to have their owner’s scent (especially from unclean, dirty clothes.) I usually leave my dog with a dirty top full of sweat from our regular walks so he can sniff it when I am out. And some of my clients bring their own blankets for their dogs.
2. Playing Together
Dogs love playing with their owners, but they also love playing with other dogs. It helps them to socialise and learn about other dogs’ body language and what is acceptable and what is not. I play with my dog a lot especially when we are not caring for other dogs and he loves it, but I love it even more when he is chasing other dogs in our garden and then, when they are done, lying exhausted on the ground unable to move, and you can sometimes see a smile on their faces.
Which healthy dog doesn’t love a good walk in the park or the woods? My dog Bruno and his buddies love it when I take them for a walk in the woods. There is always the new smell left by other dogs and people. And smells left by the animals that crawl out at night, and the golfers who walk around with their golf balls. Going for walks is fun and loveable for your dog when they have something new to learn. Going for walks and sniffing around is for them like you watching the news on television or reading the newspaper to learn what is happening around you.
4. Solving a puzzle
All dogs love to have a bit of challenge in their lives to avoid boredom. I give him interactive dog puzzles and games that hopefully help him improve his problem-solving skills. Interactive dog toys provide mental and physical exercise by encouraging dogs to search for treat rewards.
5. A comfortable bed
It doesn’t I have to be fancy, but it has to be comfortable. My dog is an anxious dog, so to make his dog crate comfortable, he has loads of my old clothes inside. And for his daytime crate he has my old winter walking coat inside. All fluffy and soft. He loves it because he can smell me and the journey we both did with that coat. And mummy’s clothes give them that extra comfort.