Creating a Happy Home Life for Your Dog

If you’ve decided to rescue a pet, then you’re naturally going to want to offer it the best home possible - and for most rescue dogs, that means a safe, stable and peaceful home free from the stress and anxiety they may have previously been subjected to.

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The majority of dogs are happy animals, by nature, yet just like with humans if they have been through sustained periods of trauma it can take its toll on them and they can suffer with low mood.

Now, just like if we had a child that felt down in the dumps we would want to do something to make them feel better, yet the best approach is a sustainable approach that ensures consistency rather than the highs and lows of treats and rewards.

The first thing you can do is get to know your dog really well, and this isn’t just from a behavioural perspective, but from a health perspective too. Today, there are dog dna tests that can reveal a whole host of helpful information in terms of understanding your dog's physiology and possible health conditions.

There’s an age old argument over nature vs. nurture, in the sense of questioning whether an animal, or a person, is the way they are due to their genetics - or if it’s more due to environmental exposure that has shaped them to be the way they are.

There’s a strong chance with a rescue dog, there are going to be some psychological issues which might be as simple as social anxiety (e.g. nervous around other dogs or particular people), attachment anxiety (i.e. doesn’t like to be left alone) or something a little more antisocial that requires training and intervention.

Unfortunately, unlike humans, we aren’t able to chat to them about their feelings, meaning we have a limited scope in how we can help them to feel better. In that vein, this article looks at some of the best ways to create a happy home life for your dog.
Most dogs love water, particularly in the heat, as some dogs such as labradors have a number of layers of fur meaning they can overheat easily. If it’s a hot day, you’ll find many dogs will submerge themselves in the pool like a hippo.

Dogs, much more than most animals crave company - particularly rescue dogs that feel nervous to be left alone. Therefore, provide as much company as you can, and if you are needing to go out either take him with you or take him to someone else’s house in order to get the attention he craves.

Using a stash of dog biscuits, you can hide them around the room, or even the house and make a fun game of hide and seek where your dog sniffs out the biscuits. This is not only a great way to create engagement, but can also be a useful training tool that enhances cognition and intelligence.

Some dogs will love this, whilst others will hate it - so it’s at your discretion, but pampering your pooch is becoming more and more popular with many places offering “spa days” for your pet which can be a welcome treat for both you and your pet (particularly if they’ve become a little smelly).

Dogs don’t have all that much variety in their lives, and while they enjoy going to the same places as it gives them a sense of stability, routine and territory, it’s important to ensure they get to go on plenty of adventurous walks. Consider how happy your dog gets when it can smell the beach, or a woodland, or new park with all sorts of different scents to explore. This is what your dog lives for, so make the walks as interesting and entertaining as possible for him.

In summary, the best thing you can do is to ensure your dog isn’t left alone too long and in addition to the basics of leaving fresh drinking water out and ensuring the right amount and type of food is provided - the most fundamental thing you can do is to furnish your dog with buckets of love… after all, that’s what they really want. Rescue dogs, in particular, just want to be loved and adored, kept safe and comfortable, with the occasional adventure to an exciting park or forest.

The ingredients are pretty simple and the rewards are well worth the effort to create a happy home life for your pet.

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