Signs of a Happy Dog

In Emotional Support Animal by Emotional Pet Support Team

Guest post: All dog owners would want their dogs to be happy. The telltale signs of a happy dog will help you know when they’re joyful and when they aren’t.

Dogs are emotional beings and they cannot mask their feelings. Their feelings have been said to be similar to those of a 2-year-old child.

When your dog is happy, you can expect to read it from their body language.

What Makes Dogs Happy

Before we look at how to tell if your dog is happy, we need to understand what makes them happy in the first place.

Pet parents should play a critical role in ensuring that their dogs are gratified.

1.             Balanced diet

A healthy dog is a happy dog. Make sure you provide healthy diet plans to your dog throughout the day. The food should be appetizing and of variety. You can have a mix of both commercial and homemade dog food.  Remember to give them clean drinking water to complete their balanced diet.

Be sure not to overfeed your dog. Your dog’s food portion should correspond with their age and size. Overfed dogs will lack the motivation to exercise and it also has damaging effects on their health.

2.             Exercise your dog

Dogs who don’t get enough exercise are usually sluggish and bored. As such, they will look for ways to get some entertainment. 

In most cases, they become destructive and aggressive in pursuit of fun. Exercising your dog will stimulate both their physical and mental health hence making them relaxed. 

3.             Interactive play

Create some time to play with your dog both indoors and outdoors. You can regularly engage your dog in a tug competition or play hide and seek.

You should also give your dog different toys for their fun games. Be sure to rotate your dog’s toys and replace the worn-outs.

4.             Training

Training your dog is a sure way to let them figure out what you expect from them. It also helps to build their confidence. You can use positive reinforcement methods to teach your dog good behavior.

Dog training should be continuous because there is always something your dog can learn every day. Let them know that you are satisfied with their improvement and they will always be happy to learn more.

This article highlights other ideal ways to keep your pet healthy and happy. 

10 Signs of A Happy Dog

1.             They welcome you back home

Your dog can be excited to see you back in the house after a long day. This is a good sign of happiness and excitement. Your pup has been patiently waiting for you since you left and now, they can’t hold back their joy.

Dogs have different ways of greeting their owners. Some will run straight to the door while others get the zoomies.

If your dog suddenly stops greeting you when you arrive back home, then something might be wrong. Their enthusiasm might be waned by stress, lethargy, or a medical condition.

2.             They want you to pet them

Your dog might approach you on the couch, lie down and expose their belly to you. This is a sign of excitement and welcoming you to pet them. Gratified dogs will always initiate more body contact with their owners.

Do not hesitate to give your dog a smooth belly rub when they need one. Pass your affection and let them know that you are also excited to see them happy.

If your dog stays away from you for a long time and doesn’t want to be petted, then they might be stressed.

3.             Displaying good manners

A happy dog will generally show good manners. This is a sign that your dog is in a happy mood.

They are also easy to please and can follow your commands promptly.

Bored dogs might show destructive behavior such as chewing and scratching. This is not always the norm because sometimes dogs can be aggressive when they are provoked.

4.             Floppy ears

Dogs’ ear shapes and sizes vary according to breed. But happy dogs will generally have their ears relaxed against their heads naturally.

Fearful dogs will usually have their ears stiff and picked forward. This is because they want to stay on high alert during a stressful situation.

5.             Good appetite

You can observe your dog’s eating behavior to determine how gratified they are. Dogs who gobble up their meals obediently are mostly in good moods. Happy dogs will also receive treats with excitement and appreciate you for the reward.

Once you notice your pup is showing reduced interest in food, then they might be having a health problem. Stressed dogs may not take up the treats you give them.

Most dogs will generally show reduced interest in new diets. Be sure to give your dog their favorite meals to determine if they have a reduced appetite.

6.             They invite you to play

Have you ever been on the couch and your pup brings you a toy to your palm? This is a sign that they are happy and willing to engage with you in their games.

Most dogs will rarely surrender their favorite toys easily. You should not turn down your dog’s invitation to play.

Take up the toy they hand over to you and show them your interest in engaging together.

7.             They smile

What better way to look for a happy dog than a smiley face? Contented dogs will always wear a soft beam on their faces.

They will open their mouth a little and sometimes will bark to arouse your attention. Perhaps it’s dinner time and they want you to fill their food bowls.

With this cheery face, a gratified dog might also look you straight into the eye with a tilted head. This is a sign of a good mood and in most cases, the dog is trying to be submissive.

In some cases, the happy dog may stick the tongue out to cool down their body and feel more relaxed.

Make sure to differentiate between your dog’s happy face and panting. Sometimes they will open their mouth with their tongue out because they are overheated. Give your dog access to clean drinking water during the day to keep them hydrated.

8.             Wagging body

Dogs will often wag their full bodies when relaxed and expressing excitement. A full-body wag is a better sign of a happy dog than a simple tail wag.

Dogs will often do this when they first see you in the morning, before that fun car ride, or when you arrive home.

If the dog is wagging the tail on a stiff body, then that is not a sign of happiness. A sole tail wag might indicate that your dog is in fear or anxiety.

9.             They have zoomies

Dog zoomies are also known as Frenetic Random Activity Periods (FRAPs). It refers to the instances where dogs get hyper and run wild laps in cycles. Dogs will make zoomies to release restrained energy among many other reasons.

Are zoomies a sign of a happy dog? Amelia Wieber a dog behavior specialist states that zoomies can be a sign that your dog is excited and happy. She proceeds to say that too many zoomies may be an indicator that your dog needs exercise.

Some dogs will jolt up and run in a cycle in preparation for their daily walks and runs. You can know this if your dog acts up when they see you getting the leash.

Zoomies are natural behavior for dogs and you should not worry if your dog gets one. Just be careful that your pup has enough space to run around without getting injured.

Continuous zoomies might be a sign of behavioral problems. Be sure to monitor why your dog has zoomies while watching for hazards.

10.                        Proper sleep pattern

A happy dog will maintain good sleeping behavior. Their minds are relaxed and they don’t have stressful situations which may keep them away from bedtime.

The duration of your dog’s sleep per day will depend on how active they have been when awake. It is completely normal for dogs to sleep more than 12 hours a day.

A gratified dog would sometimes nap on the couch or anywhere they find comfy. If your dog only walks to their bed gloomily, then it can be a sign that they may be stressed and are avoiding others.


The telling signs of a happy dog all point to one thing; a healthy pup! Always take part in making your dog feel happy and a part of the family.