How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Happy?

December 10, 2021 by Becca Glee Shepard
signs of a content dog

7 Signs Your Dog Is Happy

A happy dog is a healthy dog! We know how much you love your good boy (or girl) and how important their happiness is to you. As a good doggie parent, you may have wondered or contemplated your dog’s feelings at some point.

If you're wondering, "how do I know if my puppy is happy?" or, "how can you tell if a dog is happy?" then you're in for a treat. Canines are great communicators and if you pay attention to their body language, they just might tell you how they're feeling.

Worried your pup is showing signs of sadness? Pet insurance can help cover the cost of vet medications if you believe your doggie is showing signs of anxiety or depression, otherwise here are 7 signs and dog behaviors that indicate your pooch is living their best life:

  1. Wagging tail
  2. Good consistent appetite
  3. Relaxed eyes, mouth, ears
  4. Playfulness
  5. Belly rubs
  6. Coat appearance
  7. Greetings

1. Wagging tail

Your dog’s tail, long or short, is abundantly expressive and critical in how they express their emotions. A tail that wags rapidly and causes movement in the entire body, is a good indicator of your pup’s happiness and excitement.

Dogs wag their tails for many different reasons- whether they're on alert, they're excited, or they're happy to be around their favorite people.

2. Good, consistent appetite

A dog with a healthy appetite is generally happy. Not all dogs take extreme pleasure in eating, but for many, it’s a highlight of their day. A good appetite and a healthy weight are both signs of a healthy, happy dog.

If your pup has a sudden decrease (or increase) in appetite or if they stop eating altogether, this is definitely a sign that something might be wrong and you should consult your veterinarian right away.

3. Relaxed eyes, mouth, ears

A content dog has relaxed, soft-looking eyes, not narrow or hard which may indicate aggression. Their mouths should also be relaxed, indicating comfort and happiness, which for some dogs actually looks like a smile.

Dog’s ears are also a good communicator of their emotions with at-ease ears, meaning loose or floppy ears, symbolizing bliss. Bonus points if your dog let's you play with them!

A note on noses: a dry nose does not necessarily mean your dog is unhappy. Most dogs' noses will dry up when they're sleeping or bored, so don't worry if you notice your pooch's booper isn't wet all the time.

4. Playfulness, even dancing

Happy dogs love to play. Your dog should enjoy their playtime, seek it out, and be ready to engage in playful activities. They should look forward to taking walks. Some dogs also hop or bounce, which can look like dancing, to show their excitement.

If you go outside with your pup and play, you might even notice them get the "zoomies"! This dog behavior looks like them pacing back and forth frantically, low to the ground, gripping hard, and running as fast as they can. It's adorable to watch and even more adorable to know just how happy they are when this happens.

5. Belly rubs

A pup that rolls over and shows off their belly is considered a very happy dog. Asking for affection in the form of belly rubs shows comfort, contentment, and trust. Your dog's relaxed body anticipating a hand to pet them or play with them is a sure sign of happiness. 

6. Coat appearance

A clean, shiny coat is a sign of good health and an indicator that a dog isn’t experiencing any environmental or emotional stress. If a dog is shedding like crazy, unseasonably, or has flaky skin, consult your vet right away as this could be a sign of a health issue, like allergies.

Try your best to make time to brush your pup. They'll love you for it, and it'll help any knots or mats they might be picking at. Plus, brushing will help control shedding (especially if you brush them outside) so your furry friend will surely be happy and your family will thank you for not creating a mess!

7. Greetings!

Your dog should look forward to seeing you and greeting you when you return home. A happy dog will be waiting for you at the door and will look for you to play with them at the park or for companionship while walking.

Happy dogs make the best of friends. As pup parents, you want to make sure your dog is enthusiastic and excited about their lives on a daily basis.

A dog’s happiness is largely related to their health. Part of being a responsible pet parent is making sure their physical health is attended to and they’re seen regularly by a vet. At Spot Pet Insurance, we offer dog insurance plans to help a variety of ailments your pooch might face during their lifetime.

Fetch your free quote today!

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