10 Signs You Have a Happy Dog

10 Signs you have a happy dog

We all know that Dogs can’t speak, so they are unable to express themselves through words or expressions. The only way they can communicate is through body language. By carefully paying attention to your Dog’s body language, you will soon be able to work out whether they are happy or sad, or even if they like something or not. I have come up with the top 10 signs you have a happy Dog.

They are Happy to See You

The most obvious clue your Dog is happy is when they greet you at the door. Our two go completely bananas when we open the door and we have to go through a routine of picking them up for them to calm down. A happy Dog will also get excited when we wake up and they will keep an eye on you whilst you are wandering around the house. Another way to tell you Dog is happy to see you is by their eyes. Their eyes and eyelids will be relaxed. They will also blink often and have a soft gaze. Be aware that a hard gaze with narrowed eyes can be an indication of aggression. Wide eyes with their whites showing can mean your loved one is frightened.

Dogs will also have “Happy Barks” to show their owners they are happy. These are normally more high-pitched than a normal bark. For anyone that has met our Nelly they will understand precisely what I am saying !!!!!

Leaning In

If your Dog loves to stay close to you and even leans into you, then that is a sign she is really happy and enjoying contact time with you. It is a fantastic feeling having a Dog that comes to you for attention, and is relaxed in your company.

When he stays just out of reach or walks away from you then this usually means he wants more space. Stop the cuddles for a bit !!!!

Tail Movement

The most significant sign that he is happy is by the movement of his tail. If it is high and wagging then he is a happy boy. Also, if the tail wag is soft and loose and in a more neutral position then this is also points to him being happy.

If his tail wags stiffly but doesn’t shake with the rest of his body then your Dog is most likely trying to tell you he is assessing a new situation and in a state of alert.

Relaxed Body and Mouth

If your Dog is not tense or stiff and seems relaxed then this is a good sign he is happy and feeling good. Other factors are him having soft and loose shoulders and the posture of a rag doll with no inclination to get up and get stressed out. This will most likely include a lot of sleeping. Make sure your Dog is happy sleeping as a lack of sleep can indicate distress.

If your Dog is not comfortable then they will normally seem tense, tight or stiff.

Happy Dogs also appear to smile. If the mouth is open and a few teeth are visible then this indicates he is in a good mood. His tongue depending on the breed can also be lolling. Studies have shown that if this is the case they are very happy and so relaxed they can’t be bothered to keep it in their mouths. Obviously this would not be the case if he were snarling.

Floppy Ears

Although there are many shapes of ears spread out through many breeds the consensus is they all react in the same way. If the ears are floppy and relaxed then this is a sign your Dog is happy.

If your Dogs ears are pricked forward this usually indicates they are interested in something going on around them. If the ears are are pinned back, then beware, as this is likely to indicate fear or aggression.

Belly Up

If your Dog is wriggling around on his back and showing his belly and tongue then this is indicating he is very happy. Our Hudson puts on a really good show when he does it and it looks as if he is swimming ha-ha.

Note that if the body appears stiff and he keeps his mouth shut then this could be showing submission instead of satisfaction.

Healthy Appetite

A happy Dog will undoubtedly have a healthy appetite. This doesn’t mean that he will eat anything and everything you put in front of him, as you should be regulating his feeding, but you will see he is happy with his eating and will eat the right amount of food you have put down for him.

Some things to be aware of are that if his appetite significantly increases this could be a sign of disease. This goes the same way if his appetite drops. In any cases of changes in appetite it is always a good idea to have him checked out by a Vet.

Dancing and Playful

A happy Dog loves to play and go for walks. When I see our Dogs playing in the house or when we are out for a walk we know that they are happy. I have even woken up during the night and caught our Nelly playing with soft toys by herself which really puts a smile on my face. Be aware though that if they start becoming very quiet and reluctant to play then this can be a sign they are not well. Straight to the Vet.

10 signs you have a happy dog
A happy Rupert about to play. Thanks to Suzy, Luther and Fabio for the pics.

Another sign of happiness is when they start dancing / hopping. If they do this then they tend to bounce from side to side on their rear legs. Our Nelly does this everytime we walk in the door ha-ha and then makes us pick her up once we have managed to catch her.

Related to the dancing is “bowing”. Play bows are a definite sign your Dog wants to play with you or his friends. You can tell when he is bowing as he will lower his chest to the ground and keep his rear in the air.

They Like Other Dogs

Dogs are very similar to humans when it comes to interacting with other company. If your Dog is friendly whilst out and about and not aggressive then this is a sure sign he is in a good mood. Lots of social engagement is great for your Dogs.

The more engagement they get, the happier they will be when they see other Dogs.

Healthy Coat

An excellent indicator that your Dog is happy is if he has a healthy coat. If your Dog is stressed or poorly they tend to shed hair and they can have skin problems. If this starts to happen you should go and see a vet immediately. If he is happy and his coat is shiny and healthy then he should be too.

Conclusion

So as you can see there are several ways to tell if your Dog is healthy. Having a healthy Dog makes our life a lot easier and less stressful as it does for our furry friends. Unfortunately sometimes our pets do get poorly which can turn our whole world upside down. Therefore, remember the warning signs and go and see a vet if you are unsure.

If you have any comments or tips please feel free to leave any comments below.

Also I have added a few books from amazon.co.uk that you may find interesting and they are all about keeping your best friend happy.

Until next time, all the best

David

How to Celebrate Halloween with Dogs

How to celebrate halloween with your dogs

Halloween is a fun time for children so there is no reason why your Dog cannot be included in the Halloween activities. Your Dog is a member of your family and thoroughly enjoys being with you and being involved with the family. If your kids are getting dressed up and running around having fun, then I’m pretty sure your furry best friend will want to join in. However, there are a few things to be wary of, so my tips on how to celebrate Halloween with dogs, should help you stay safe and have some fun.

How to celebrate halloween with your dogs
Our Nessa celebrating Halloween

Your Dogs Personality

If you have a shy and fearful Dog then being in a large group may frighten him. Also, all the fancy dress costumes may make him feel threatened, so if he backs away and tries to skulk to a corner then he does not want to join in. Remember not every Dog will want to be with a large group of people. On the flip side you could have a huge Dog that is the friendliest in the world, but you must realise if you are trick or treating with him, just his size could scare young children.

Include Your Dog and Dress Him Up

If you have an outgoing and friendly Dog that loves all the attention and being around people then why not dress him up? Let’s be honest, when you see a Dog in a fancy dress outfit it does make you laugh and if they don’t mind it then why not add them to our fun. When choosing an outfit make sure it fits well and there is plenty of room for him to move. Avoid anything that has too many niggly items stitched on that he may chew off. Make sure you keep an eye on him during the festivities in case he gets fed up wearing the costume. If so, just do the sensible thing and remove it.

Keep Decorations and Trick or Treat Sweets out of Reach

Dogs are naturally curious so any decorations at their level they will want to check out. Unfortunately chewing on a plastic spider or eating chocolate intended for children can be very bad for them. Chocolate is extremely bad for Dogs and vets are inundated with poorly Dogs every year at Halloween. Some sugar free sweets have a sugar substitute which is extremely toxic to Dogs. The best thing to do is keep all treats out of reach of them and keep an eye on what they are sniffing at other peoples homes if you are trick or treating.

Don’t leave your Dog unattended in your house if you have candles lit. It is far too easy for a Dog in a fancy dress to bump into a candle holder and knock it over.

Trick or Treating with your Dog

Outgoing and friendly Dogs should be encouraged to go Trick or Treating with you and your family. There is nothing funnier than a dog dressed as a pumpkin wobbling down the road. Ensure your Dog is well-behaved and not easily spooked. There will be lots of strange noises and kids in costumes that he is not familiar with. If you are planning on giving treats from your doorstep make sure you keep an eye on him so he does not slip out and try to join in with the kids outside in the street.

There may be people coming to your door that also have pets dressed up. You will have plenty of treats for the kids but how about treats for the Dogs? There are plenty of them on the market so buy some extra treats for your neighbours furry friends. Also, be aware that if you are visiting other houses ensure that if they give your Dog a treat it is the right sort.

Check out the Dog treat Recipe Below:

Ingredients

Makes 25 treats

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

2 eggs

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick roll. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

3. Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.

 

Conclusion

Halloween is supposed to be all about having fun. If your pet can join in then so much the better. I still have very fond memories of Nessa, our miniature schnauzer, being dressed up in allsorts of crazy outfits. She did look grumpy, but used to love running around and showing off her outfit. Those photos are priceless to us so why don’t you go out and have some fun with your furry best friend.

Below are some treats, outfits and toys I have checked out on amazon that will go towards making your halloween special.

Any Halloween tips or funny stories please send my way.

Happy Halloween

David

GREAT NEWS: Sainsbury’s Ban Fireworks

Sainsbury's ban fireworks

Fantastic news as yesterday Sainsbury’s announced they will not sell any fireworks in any of its 2,300 branches this year.

Sainsbury's Ban Fireworks
Sainsbury’s Ban Fireworks

 

The First Major Supermarket to Stop Selling Fireworks

A spokesman for Sainsbury’s has said they have stopped selling fireworks following a concern for pets. They will instead be offering “glow sticks” to festive customers.

The move has been welcomed by pet lovers and animal charities. It is a well known fact that loud bangs and flashing lights are distressing for animals.

sainsbury's ban fireworks

The Daily telegraph was informed by Tescos that they will continue to sell them as would Waitrose. Asda will continue to sell fireworks, but as they understand some customers and pets don’t like noise, they are launching a collection of low noise fireworks. Aldi continue to sell fireworks but provide information and advice on how to make pets feel safe and secure.

A spokesperson for the Dogs trust said:”Although they can look beautiful, fireworks can be very distressing for dogs when let off unexpectedly, and because they are so easily accessible all year-round, dog owners are on tender hooks as to when their beloved pooch will next be frightened. We congratulate Sainsbury’s on their decision not to sell fireworks this year and would encourage others to do the same.”

Conclusion

I believe this is a great step in the right direction and Sainsbury’s should be applauded for making such a bold move. Another point that has not been mentioned in all the Press is that this is also important for the elderly. Every year we hear complaints from the elderly of the horrific noise levels of fireworks. I have been in estates when there have been fireworks going off and it can sound like war zone, terrifying for animals and the elderly. Once again I applaud Sainsbury’s for a great step forward.

If you feel the same or feel the opposite feel free to drop me a line.

A happy Dave

How to Train Your Dog to Use a Dog Door

how to train your dog to use a dog door

I decided to write a Post on this subject as only last week I was visiting my little sister and she asked me about it. She has a Westie called Poppy who is used to a Dog door, but as she is nearly 14 years old, She is now finding it difficult. Bless her.

How to train your dog to use a dog door
Little Sis and Poppy

A Dog door can be a useful tool and can be handy to have if you live in the appropriate building. For instance if you live in a block of flats then a Dog door is not going to be very appropriate. You Dog may love running up and down the corridors, but I’m pretty sure some neighbours would not be very happy. Alternatively, if you have a small garden, they can be useful but must NEVER let it be an excuse that you do not need to take your Dog for a walk. A Dog only sees a garden as an extension to its kennel. He still needs to go out and get his exercise and also to get his fix of different smells.

Size of Door

Before you can learn how to train a Dog to use a Dog door, you must choose the correct door. They come in many makes, shapes, sizes and styles, but you must choose the one that is best for your Dog.

Size – When you are choosing the size, DO NOT, choose the smallest that your Dog can get through. Make sure he has some extra room to get through. If it is too tight he may be scared to use the door. Also, as he gets older he may put on weight and struggle to get through it. A bit like us humans ha-ha.

This may seem like an obvious thing to say but ensure the Dog door is situated where your Dog can go out into a safe area. A back door into a garden is ideal. A front door onto a street is probably not a good idea.

Types of Door

There are lots of different makes and styles of door. They can be put into solid wooden doors, screen doors, plastic and metal doors and even outside walls. Despite the frame and where you choose to place the door, they all come with a choice of flaps.

  • Clear Flaps – These are the most common and are pretty fail-safe. They usually come with a locking device so you can stop your Dog going out whenever he wants. Also, you can have a switch that only ensures one way travel through the flap. This can be very handy if you want to stop your neighbours cats sneaking in and eating your Dogs food. You just have to make sure you know your Dog is outside and he cannot get back in.
  • Magnetised Flaps – These come in various designs with magnets placed on the bottom of the flap or on the sides. Sometimes they come with both. If the magnets are removable, then remove them to start with so that your Dog gets the hang of it. if not, give the flap some gentle persuasion initially so your Dog is not frightened to push it.
  • Electronic Flaps – These can be set to fully electronic or partially. This helps for when you are training your Dog to use the Dog door. It can be operated by a chip or collar key. They tend to make a clicking noise when in use which can take some time for your pet to get used to. A good idea is to give him lots of encouragement when he initially starts using the door.

Dog Door Training

You must remember that in every type of training you must remain consistent and never give up. Training your dog to use a Dog door should only take a couple of days and a big bag of treats.

  • Timings – Patience is a virtue or so they say. Some Dogs take longer than others to learn, so a bit of patience might be needed. The first time you start to teach your Dog make sure it is a bright day with plenty of light and not too many surrounding sounds if possible. If it is pouring with rain and dark the other side of the door, he will not want to go through. He will do the same as I would want to do and go and cuddle up somewhere nice warm and dry.
  • The Flap – If the flap can be removed then remove it to start with. If not then you can always tape it up out of the way. Start with your Dog inside and put a treat in your hand. Let him smell it and then toss it through the flap to the outside. With a bit of luck he will peer through the gap and step outside to retrieve his treat. This may take a couple of goes for him to get the hang of it. If he isn’t too keen to go through, then you can leave him where he is and go outside. You can then see him through the flap, whereupon, you can coax him through with a treat or just call him to come to you. If this still does not work, then wait until it is his feeding time. Instead of using a treat put his bowl the other side of the door. Hopefully this will work. If the bowl is outside he may not want to eat outside so try switching. Once you have succeeded in any way to get him through make sure you lay on him lots of praise. With just a little more practice it will become a normal event.
  • Replacing the Flap – When you get to the stage he is happy going back and forth it is time to replace the flap. He may be very wary to start with. Therefore, you can hold it up slightly for him to push onto to come through. Once again the use of treats will probably work very well. Keep giving him praise when he uses it and gradually let the flap come down on his back so he gets used to how it feels. You are aiming for him to gain confidence so he pushes it himself and is not scared of it on his back. This whole process could take a couple of days and for the more timid it could take up to a week.

Conclusion

So we have learnt that it is not a five-minute job teaching your Dog how to use a Dog door. You must never expect to fit a door and for your Dog to just look at it and start using it straight away. A little bit of patience and some of the tips above will ensure your best friend is using your house like a hotel ha-ha.

Please see below a selection of Dog doors available from amazon.

As always if you have any comments please feel free to drop me a line.

All the Best

David

Online Deals Of The Day

Online Deals of the Day

Did you know that amazon.co.uk and amazon.com offer online deals of the day? I certainly didn’t until recently and was extremely surprised at how much money you can save. Just by spending a few minutes of your time, you can save massive amounts especially if you are buying in bulk.

Here is a good example of one item on offer today. Amazon online deal of the day.

How Does It Work?

Amazon has three kinds of Deals which are daily deals, weekly deals and Lightning Deals.

  • Daily Deals – These are advertised on the website from 00.01hrs to 23.59 hrs. You must purchase within that time or you will not get that deal.
  • Deals of the Week – These start at 00.01 hrs on a Monday morning and finish at 23.59 hrs on the following Sunday. As above, if you order out of these times you will not get the deal.
  • Lightning Deals – These are a promotion where a limited number of discounts are offered on an item for a short period. These are found on the Daily deals page and are available until the short time of the promotion lasts or until all the discounts are claimed. Therefore, you have to be on the ball when these are available. You can also join a waiting list for an item if all the discounts are help in other peoples baskets. If they don’t purchase then you have the option to buy if you are next on the waiting list.

There are also others way to save. Amazon also has a link for Savings and Sales and they even have Upcoming Deals where it tells you how much time there is before an offer becomes active.

What type of Items are Available?

When you go to the Deals page there is a list of every category available for savings. I have certainly been impressed by the amount of items available. Just today there are 107 items available under Pet Products.

Conclusion

Just by spending a bit of time on either of the amazon sites you can save a lot of money on your pet products especially if you are buying in bulk. Also remember that comparing between amazon.co.uk and amazon.com can save you a ton of money. Please see my post on how this works.

I hope you have enjoyed this article. Please feel free to leave any tips or recommendations.

All the best

David