35 Fun Ways To Make Your Pooch One Happy Dog
Do you ever glance over at your dog, nestled up next to you on the couch, and suddenly feel overwhelmed by just how much you love them? Me too.
Our pets make us so happy, and they only ask for (a lot of) food in return. Although holding them close and whispering “I love you” repeatedly may get your face licked, have you ever wondered what else you can do to show your dog that you love them?
Here’s a list cataloging 30 ways you can make your dog the happiest dog on Planet Puppy!
Happy Dog Tips: How To Make Your Dog Smile
1. Impromptu Belly Rubs
Whether they’re portly, petite, or somewhere in between, every dog loves belly rubs!
2. Build An Obstacle Course Using Household Objects
You can also make an effective dog jump by propping a broom on books! Throw a tennis ball over it, and enjoy a DIY dog agility course!
3. Go On A Camping Trip
Dogs love being outside and connecting with their wolfish ancestry. Why not visit one of our beautiful dog-friendly national parks and connect with nature alongside your best friend?
4. Create Some Homemade Dog Treats
5. Let Them Pick Out A New Toy At The Pet Store
Sure, you can grab whatever picks your fancy at Target, OR you could head over to your local pet store and let your pooch sniff out their new favorite chew toy.
6. Switch Up Your Walking Routine
Walks provide your dog with physical exercise and mental stimulation, thanks to the scents and smells along the way. Try a new walk with your dog — or, better yet, follow wherever your dog’s nose takes you! It’ll be an adventure for both of you and a great way to break out of your normal walking rut.
7. Scrub Those Doggie Bowls
It can be easy to forget to clean out your dog’s water bowl, but their water and food bowls should be cleaned daily. Plastic dog bowls can harbor dirt and bacteria, so consider switching to ceramic or stainless steel instead!
8. Find A New Dog Park
Find new doggy digs by exploring a new dog park! If your dog gets along well with others, they’ll love having a chance to run and play with new friends.
9. Take Them To The Beach
If you’re lucky enough to live in a coastal community, find a dog-friendly beach and dedicate an afternoon to frisbee and frolicking in the sand!
10. Go For A Run With Your Dog
Most dogs yearn for a good run once in awhile. Lace up your sneakers and hit the streets with Fido! If your motivation starts to lag, just watching your dog’s little legs gallop should keep you laughing and moving!
11. Teach Them A New Trick
Dogs thrive when they’re given a job and your undivided attention! Make your pet one happy dog by teaching them a new trick.
12. Visit A Dog-Friendly Restaurant (And Order Off The Dog Menu)
Do you know that your favorite restaurants also offer dog-friendly items on their menus? For instance, you can order a Pup Patty at In-N-Out, which is a small, unseasoned beef patty!
Note: Although we all know that one dog gifted with an iron stomach, many dogs cannot process dairy. Take caution when allowing your dog to eat any menu items that feature dairy products.
13. Sing To Your Dog
Not only is singing to your dog fun, but they’ll never critique your vocal abilities! Plus, dogs enjoy the sounds of singing, much like they also enjoy howling. Don’t be surprised if your musical number inspires your pooch to join in with a howling tune of their own.
14. Indulge In Some Puppy Pampering
While a trip to the groomers does not leave me with a happy dog, a decent brushing session seems to be very relaxing for Fido. Spend an extra five minutes on your dog’s daily brushing to give them the pampering they deserve.
15. Book A Stay At A Dog-Friendly Hotel
Who says a weekend getaway partner can’t be on four legs? Check out our list of dog-friendly hotel chains for some inspiration!
16. Create A Puppy-Playlist On Spotify
Build a playlist just for your dog. According to recent studies, dogs respond best to classical, reggae, and soft rock.
17. Go For A Car Ride
Secure your dog into their car seat, open up the back window, play your playlist from tip #16, and enjoy the ride.
18. Try A New Sport
If you have an active breed, chances are that you’re still searching for different ways to burn off their endless abundance of energy. Try different activities with your pooch. Dog sledding, urban mushing, flyball, and bikejoring are great activities to enjoy with an active dog breed!
19. Give Them Filtered Water
If you live in an area with less-than-great tap water — give your dog a fresh bowl of filtered water. You don’t drink the water, so why should your dog?!
20. Let Them Get Dirty
We often usher our pets away from that giant muddy puddle, but don’t forget — your dog loves getting dirty! Load up your car with towels, wet wipes, and backseat protection, then head over to a nice muddy field. Throw on your gumboots and join your rascal! Mud will wash off, but you’ll share that good memory forever.
21. Have A Bath
After an epic splash in a dirty ditch, it’s time to get clean. Fill up the tub with warm, soapy water, chuck a tennis ball in the bath, and give your pet a gentle scrub. Dogs tend to dislike the sound and sensation of a running shower, so opt for sponges over showers. Does your dog love the blow dryer? Give them a fancy blowout after the bath!
22. Make A Special Dinner In The Slow Cooker
The internet is BURSTING with great recipe ideas for your dog’s dinner. Here’s ours!
23. Have A Birthday Party
Make a birthday cake for dogs, invite Fido’s friend over, and roll out the party games. It’ll be the best day ever.
24. Practice Dog Yoga
If you do yoga in your own home, you know that there’s one family member who is EXTRA excited about this lying-on-the-floor-stretchy-time activity. If you can’t do a downward dog without meeting an upward-facing dog nose, try including your pup the next time you roll out your mat.
25. Give Them A Massage
A dog massage is a great way to tend to your dog’s aches and pains, and it’s a wonderful destressing activity for both of you. Pamper your pooch with the best butt rub ever!
Related: How To Give Your Dog A Massage
26. Organize A Playdate
Bring over new and old friends for an afternoon of tearing through the yard and enjoying each other’s company!
27. Go Swimming
A hot summer weekend can be a bore for a hairy tail-wagger. Drag out a paddling pool and fill it up to have some splashy fun together! Alternatively, search for local dog swimming pools in your area. Swimming pools for dogs are usually heated, and you can take a dip with them! If your dog has arthritis, swimming is a good sporting activity that’s easy on the joints.
28. Buy A Carton Of Tennis Balls. Unleash Them All At Once
Want to see your pup freak out with joy? They won’t know which ball to chase first!
29. Take On An Ambitious Doggy DIY Project
Build a palatial pet palace out of cardboard. Find the plans for this luxury dog house at Toot and Toot!
Related: Luxury Dog Houses
30. Throw A Slumber Party
Throw some homemade dog biscuits in the oven, construct a pillow fort in your living room, and rent your favorite dog-themed movie for the perfect puppy slumber party. Fall asleep curled up with your hound!
31. Hand Over An Empty Jar Of Peanut Butter
Pause before you chuck that empty jar of Jif in the trash. Not only is peanut butter (in moderation) a delicious doggy treat, but they’ll also have hours of fun rolling it around your home and trying to get all of the peanut butter out of the jar.
Make sure the peanut butter isn’t made with xylitol, an artificial sweetener which is toxic for dogs. Read more about peanut butter for dogs on DogPack!
32. Order A Puppuccino At Starbucks
Starbucks offers a small pup cup of whipped cream for your dog in tow! Some dogs aren’t able to ingest dairy, so tread with caution.
33. Get Matching Outfits
Luckily for you, there are plenty of online retailers that offer matching dog and human outfits. From Christmas-themed onesies to matching pajamas, there’s no shortage of matching attire for you and doggo. If wearing a cape isn’t going to fly for your canine companion, there are several companies that will print your dog’s likeness on a t-shirt for you.
34. Learn Some Doggy Dance Moves
We thought we had great moves, but these dogs know how to keep a beat!
35. Get Them A Very Special Bone
Request a bone from the butcher for an extra special treat. Look for raw, meaty bones, and make sure you choose a bone that’s large enough for your dog to safely chew. Always keep an eye on your pup while they enjoy their treat!