Happy Canines: 7 Signs Your Dogs Are Living Their Best Life

by | Mar 16, 2020 | Dog Psychology, Health and Nutrition

We love our dogs and would do just about anything to see them happy. Unfortunately, they haven’t made a machine (yet) that lets us talk to them. So, we rely on visual clues and other signs to know how they’re feeling.

Generally, people associate a happy dog with tail-wagging but there are other signs to look out for.

Have you asked yourself, “Is my dog happy”? If so, it shows you really care. Read ahead for seven tell-tail signs your dog is living their best canine life.

Is My Dog Happy?

This is a question all dog-owners need to ask themselves. Fortunately, there are several ways to tell.

We love to shower them with presents but is there something more we could be doing?

Seven Signs of a Happy Dog

So, if we can’t talk to dogs, how are we supposed to communicate with them? Although we can’t have a full-on conversation with them, it’s easier than you think to figure out how they feeling.

Even with people, the vast majority of communication is non-verbal. Of course, dogs can bark and make other noises but there are other signs for the keen observer.

Is your dog living there best life? We all know about the tail wagging. Here are seven more signs your dog is happy.

7. Is My Dog Healthy?

Generally speaking, a healthy pup is a happy pup. So, you should be familiar with the signs of a healthy dog.

Heart health is key for dogs. Dogs with problems in this area get tired quickly and aren’t as playful.

Also, a shiny coat is a clear indicator of a good diet. Finally, healthy teeth are another sign of overall health. 

6. Good Appetite

Happy dogs love to eat. Hopefully, you have them on a steady, regular diet with nutritional food.

If all is well, your dog will happily eat the food as soon as you serve it. Dogs with anxiety are less likely to want to eat their food. They may also insist on eating only treats or human food.

Of course, feeding them junk food to make them happy will lead to health problems down the road. Although it may seem to make them momentarily happy, you aren’t doing them any favors.

5. No Signs of Aggression

There are no aggressive breeds, just bad owners. Dogs that become aggressive generally anxious and depressed.

Oftentimes, they are victims themselves of violence, aggression, and neglect. Dogs and other animals usually become aggressive only when they feel threatened.

A happy dog living in a good environment has no reason to become violent.

4. Playful Pups

On the other hand, happy dogs love to play. It is their way to exercise, socialize, and have fun.

Dogs tend to play somewhat rough. It can be difficult for some people to tell the difference between play fighting between friends and a real fight. This is especially true when bigger dogs are involved.

Dogs at play will act and jump around. They won’t get stiff and the hair on their back doesn’t stand up. Aggressive dogs let out a long, low growl.

3. Joyful Barking

A lot of people don’t like it when dogs bark. They find it too loud and anything.

Although this can be true, especially if you are trying to focus, it can be a sign of a happy dog. The key is to distinguish between happy barking and angry, grumpy barking.

Happy dogs tend to bark with a higher pitch than aggressive ones. Also, they tend to let out short barks and are quick to quiet down again.

2. Mellow and Chill Temperaments

If you high-strung aggressive dogs are stressed, you can safely imagine that happy dogs tend to be relaxed. However, you need to remember that stress doesn’t always manifest as aggression.

Sometimes, dogs that have anxiety are the ones that ‘go crazy’ every time something crosses their field of vision.

The happiest and most relaxed dogs love to play but aren’t desperate for attention either. If your dog is too hyper, it might be trying to tell you something.

1. Love For Belly Rubs

There is nothing cuter than when a dog lays on its back so you can rub its belly. It is really enough to melt your heart.

If you’re a fan of rubbing puppy bellies, we have good news for you. Believe it or not, it is a pretty solid sign that a dog is relaxed and happy.

The belly is one of the most vulnerable parts of any animal. If a dog exposes their belly to you to invite you to rub it, not only are they relaxed, they trust you. If that doesn’t make you feel all warm inside, we don’t know what will.

How To Tell If My Dog Is Depressed

No one wants to hear that their dog is depressed. It’s frankly just heartbreaking. They are our best friends and would do anything for us.

The least we can do is take care of them physically and mentally.

Here are some warning signs to look out for. Sad dogs may have a medical condition so its really important to identify them.

Excessive Sleeping

Dogs love to nap just like any of us. However, like humans, excessive sleeping can be a sign of depression.

Sleeping constantly and not wanting to get up to see you is a warning sign.


Sadly, sometimes sad or sick dogs will act withdrawn. Some dogs may even hide around the house and yard to avoid people.

Licking and Chewing

Stressed dogs will try to find some way to deal with their feelings.

Many resorts to ‘bad’ behavior like chewing on furniture or clothes. Others will constantly lick on their paws.

Taking Control of Canine Mental Health

Is my dog happy? Hopefully, now you have a better idea as how to answer that question. 

If your dog is showing signs of depression, you might want to consider taking your dog to a vet. They can give you tips and offer treatment.

Check out this blog for more articles on health and lifestyle news.