It’s so important to keep our pets happy and healthy, and knowing the signs of a happy pet is critical to ensuring they stay that way. Though some believe animals are incapable of emotion, at least in the same way humans do, emerging research indicates that some animals—like cats and dogs—share behavioral and physiological similarities with humans when expressing emotion.
Furthermore, knowing the signs of a happy pet helps us better understand what signs to look for to ensure their continued bliss.
How You Can Help Keep Your Pet Happy
We have a deep and joyful connection with our pets. Yes, it means lots of work, but the payoff is well worth it. Nonetheless, do we know how to keep our pets happy? After all, our pets work hard to stay connected to us and provide unconditional love and appreciation.
For example, a pet cat or dog may only give hints about their feelings through behavior and body language. But, to a pet owner eager to share their pet a happy life, these clues matter all the same. Keeping your pet happy means you need to know the signs and what to look for to ensure they stay that way.
Additionally, as a pet parent who wants to bridge the gap between what their pet wants or needs. Of course, these clues mean a lot. And discovering these clues about how they express themselves is even more critical. Moreover, it’s essential to be observant and in tune with what the animal is trying to convey.
Do you ever look at your pet and wonder if they seem happy? If so, here are some ways to tell whether or not your cat or dog is healthy. And in a mood that indicates they’re as happy to be with you as you are with them.
As a dog owner, it’s my top priority to keep Oliver as happy as possible. But, more importantly, to look for indicators to let me know if he is not. After a few years of living together, it’s easy to tell if he doesn’t feel well or needs extra attention.
Signs Your Pet Dog Is Happy
Dogs can express moods easily and especially when in a good mood. They become playful and excited when you hand them a treat or adjust their martingale collars before it’s time for a walk. They might wag their tails, hop up and down, or give you a broad smile. Aside from these reactions, here are other signs of a joyful canine:
1 – A Wagging Tail
When your dog is happy, they will show it through their body. Furthermore, they will assume a more relaxed stance and sometimes wag their tail. While every breed will have a different way of expressing how joyful they are to be around you, many dogs often do so through a raised tail position. But pet happy
However, a tail raised too high may indicate an agitated or overstimulated pup. If their tail looks positioned under their body, this is a strong sign your dog seems scared, while a tightly waving tail may mean they’re on alert mode. That said, try to ascertain the difference between a wagging, happy tail and a tail that’s moving to communicate nervousness or agitation.
2 – A Smiling Appearance
At times, some dogs can look happy by smiling or what seems so. Likewise, they can appear so with soft open mouths with upturned corners. But don’t confuse this sign with open-mouth panting, which indicates that your dog can feel stressed or overheated.
While it can seem like our dogs smile, scientists don’t know for sure. However, studies show dogs can use their facial muscles like humans do when expressing emotion. Typically, a soft, open-mouth display can mean your dog feels comfortable and relaxed. But, of course, to keep your pet happy, it doesn’t have to smile.
3 – Excited Dancing
Expressive dogs won’t hold back their joy and either bounce or hop from side to side. Moreover, this is a common reaction from a dog seeing their favorite people. It can also indicate that your dog is excited to see you return home and is ready to play and get some affection.
At times, my poodle Oliver will dance when he wants attention, a treat or to eat, or wants to play. He usually dances when he seems happy or excited, and it’s always adorable. But, if your dog doesn’t dance, it doesn’t mean they don’t feel happy. Keeping your pet happy goes way beyond a happy dance.
4 – A Healthy Appetite
If your dog is happy and well, they tend to have a good appetite. They’re likely to finish their meals and be eager to receive treats. Conversely, if they become less interested in their food, even if you don’t change their diet, this could be a sign of unhappiness or a potential illness. To ensure you keep your pet happy, always take them to the vet if their eating habits change.
5 – Keeping Your Pet Happy With Exercise
We all know the importance of exercise in adults and equally in our pets. To keep your pet happy, you must take them for long walks and playtime. And fill their lives with fun toys and social interaction with other pets. Exercise will keep them healthy, and it’s good for any pet you own.
For example, if you work all day and your pet is alone, keep them occupied with play toys and chewies. You can also interact with them via a pet monitor to ensure they feel safe and happy. And you can give them a treat via the monitor as well. I use one to keep an eye on Oliver when I’m out, and he enjoys communicating with me, especially when I tell him to play with his toys.
Signs Your Cat Is in a Good Mood & Happy
Compared to dogs, cats are more reserved when showing their emotions. But that doesn’t mean they’re never happy to be around you. As a cat owner, the key is to be more observant about how your cat behaves. Here are some signs your cat is happy and content:
6 – Purring
A purring cat indicates that they’re happy, especially if they seem relaxed or comfortably curled up next to you. However, in some instances, the purring sound may be their way of communicating discomfort or soothing themselves in distressing situations. As such, consider the circumstances when you hear a purring kitty, like if you find them injured.
Most of the time, your cat will purr when happy or relaxed or when someone pets them. Typically, cats use purring sounds to relay other emotions and needs. For example, it can also indicate hunger or a desire for playtime. You can equate purring to thumbsucking in humans. Additionally, cats will purr when in pain or distress.
7 – Kneading
Aside from the sound your pet cat makes, you may be able to tell they’re happy through their actions. For example, they can knead or “make biscuits” with their paws when they’re around someone they’re fond of. They may do this motion on a blanket, something soft, or their favorite people. Regardless of what they’re kneading, this action can indicate a sign of feline contentment and is a great way to ensure you keep your pet happy.
8 – A Playful Demeanor
Happy cats tend to be very playful, especially as kittens. They may play independently by chasing a toy mouse or reaching for a hanging item. They may also like to play with you. Regardless of how your pet cat prefers to have fun, rest assured that their playfulness is a sign that they’re pretty happy to be around you.
9 – Use Of Their Litter Box To Keep Your Pet Happy
Their daily routine tells you if a cat is happy and healthy. For example, kitties with healthy and happy dispositions typically won’t have an issue using their litter box regularly. But a cat may show their stress by urinating or defecating in places they shouldn’t.
That said, if you notice your pet isn’t using their litter box often or avoids it completely, this may be a sign they’re unhappy or ill. Moreover, you may be due to visit your vet, trainer, or pet behaviorist. Also, make sure you use a good no-mess litter box for them to feel happy and comfortable.
10 – Cat Toys, Treats, And A Good Scratching Post
Of course, cats need things like toys, treats, and a good Cat Tower with Hammock and Scratching Posts to keep them happy. Like dogs, they need entertainment to stay out of trouble and occupied. Your cat also needs exercise, so make sure you play with them daily.
Keeping Your Pet Happy
Understanding whether your pet is happy is an issue of looking out for their mood and general health. But, unfortunately, their willingness to express positive emotion can also clue you in on bigger problems, like whether they’re sick. So keep a pulse on whether your dog or cat seems happy to be around you by observing the signs mentioned above, and do your best as a pet owner to preserve that precious happiness.
Don’t Forget To Pin Your Inspiration!
It’s not always easy to find unique gifts for pet lovers, but that’s where we make it easy. We all love our furbabies, and they deserve the best! And since they don’t ask for much aside from love, food, shelter, and good grooming, it’s fun to treat ourselves as a reminder of how much we love them.