If we could have one wish, one idea would be to wish our dogs could talk – it would make things so much easier. Despite the fact that our dogs can’t speak, it doesn’t mean we can’t tell how they are feeling by the way they act. If you are wondering if your dog is happy, check out these signs that may help you determine if your dog is happy.
According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), “When your dog is relaxed and happy, his eyes will be their normal shape.” Pay attention to the way your dog’s eyes look when doing different activities or during different times of the day. You’ll start noticing the differences and will be able to read your dog’s mood better. (www.aspca.org)
The ASPCA also says to look at their mouth. “When your dog is relaxed and happy, he’s likely to have his mouth closed or slightly opened.” Again, pay attention to the changes in your dog’s body language to read his mood. (Note: a dog that is panting with their mouth open could be hot or stressed. This is not a happy dog). (www.aspca.org)
Also look at his ears. The ASCPA notes that a happy, relaxed dog will “hold his ears naturally.” Again, this will depend on your specific dog, with a lot depending on his breed and where their ears sit. (www.aspca.org)
Another part of your dog’s body language is in his tail. You can tell if your dog is happy by the tail carriage. According to the ASPCA, “when your dog is relaxed, he’ll hold his tail in its natural position. If he’s feeling happy, he may wag it gently from side to side.”.(www.aspca.org)
The last of the body languages, look at your dog’s overall body – are the muscles relaxed? Even a dog that is playing and bouncing around wildly will have a relaxed body carriage with weight evenly distributed if they are happy, says the ASPCA. (www.aspca.org)
Destructive dogs are usually bored…are you happy when you are bored? Not usually. So a content dog is much less likely to chew on your shoes or eat your couch. Instead, he chews on his toys.
A happy dog will want to spend time with his family and will come to you for attention. Of course, there are differences in personalities that need to be taken into account, but for the most part, a happy dog wants to hang out with his people.
Does your dog run to greet you when you get home from work? A happy dog gets excited about things like dinner, you, playing, walks, etc.- whatever it is that your dog loves. If your dog never gets excited, there could be something wrong and a trip to the vet may be needed.