Many people wonder if dogs can be happy. Many people also think that dogs are happier than cats. Dogs are great pets to own and it is important to recognize the signs that a dog can be happy and how your dog makes you feel when you seem them.
Who doesn’t love a wagging dog? We’ve all seen that happy dog trotting around, tail held high and smiles on his (and sometimes her) face. But what are the signs that a dog is actually happy? Does a wagging tail always tell the whole story? And if not, how would you tell which is exactly what some owners (and veterinarians) need to know. After all, our dogs are our best friends who we want to make sure are in good spirits.
Dogs are one of the most popular pets in the world. Most people have at least one dog in their life, and even those who don’t are probably familiar with these furry friends.
But how can you tell if a dog is happy? There are many signs that a dog is happy, including:
- A wagging tail
- An eagerness to play
- A relaxed demeanor
- A willingness to approach you
When your dog is happy, you can tell.
There are a few signs that a dog is feeling positive emotions. One of the most common is when they playfully investigate objects in their environment. If they’re feeling playful and energetic, they might even initiate play with you or another animal.
Another sign that your dog is happy is when they make eye contact with you. This can happen during playtime or when they’re just hanging out. They will often look at you with an expression of excitement and interest in what’s happening at that moment. This kind of gaze usually means that they want to interact more closely with you, whether it’s through playing or just getting some love and affection from petting them!
If your dog seems relaxed and calm rather than overly excited or anxious about what’s going on around him/her, then this could also be a sign that he/she feels happy overall!
Signs That A Dog Is Happy
It doesn’t take much to make your dog happy. 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. Your dog conks out early because she’s had such a happy day.
“Sleepy Freddie” by Pedro Paulo Boaventura via Flickr. License info.
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..
2. He always looks you in the eye.
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 doggo. Dogs also make eye contact as a way to check in with you and make sure you’re feeling as happy as they are. Expect some extra snuggles if you’ve had a rough day!
3. Your dog always comes back to you when called.
“Suge the Boston Terrior” [sic] by Emily May via Flickr. License info.
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. Your dog tries extra hard to obey the rules.
“Tulo showing off his sit!” by Mariposa Veterinary Wellness Center in Lenexa, KS via Flickr. License info.
Dogs can be mischievous. But when your pup’s feeling particularly grateful, she may do everything you ask without question. You might suddenly make it through a whole meal without any begging at the table. When you please her, she works extra hard to please you.
5. He dances around in a wriggling mass of joy and excitement.
“Dancing Dog” by Bev Sykes via Flickr. License info.
Little actions can make your dog’s day, but some owners go the extra mile. Expect to be showered in joy when you do the unexpected.
6. She always waits for you to catch up.
“Therapy on the couch” by Monique Gidding via Flickr. License info.
How to tell if a dog is happy, especially with you, is if she always looks to you or waits for you to catch up while you’re out exploring together. If not even other people, pups or woodland critters can make your dog leave your side, it means she’s happier with you than anywhere else—and that whatever adventure lies over the next hill, it’ll be more fun if you’re together.
7. Your dog surrenders his favorite chew toy—to you.
“Milo and his strawberry” by Chris Gladis via Flickr. License info.
Have you ever been typing away on your computer, only to suddenly feel a furry presence nearby? There’s your dog with his favorite chew toy, smashing it into the back of your hand while you’re trying to work. Your dog might normally never want to relinquish his favorite toy, so giving it over to you is a sure sign of gratitude.
8. Your dog is constantly smiling.
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. Even during the most mundane of activities, like when you’re just sitting on the couch reading a book or talking on the phone, she’s “all smiles” in your direction.
9. He’s always inviting you to play.
Dogs have all sorts of funny ways to initiate play with other pups and, of course, their favorite people. The “playbow” 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 doggo!
10. Your dog snuggles up close at night.
“award-winning snuggles” by hillary h via Flickr. License info.
A grateful dog may cuddle as close as possible while you sleep. And in the morning, instead of jumping up early for food, she may delay eating to get a little extra snuggle time. No complaints there!
There’s never a dull moment when your dog’s happy! Be sure to fuel that happy wag every day with a bowl of her favorite Nature’s Recipe® dog food.