Whether you're a new dog owner or have had your furry friend for years, it's essential to know how to tell if your dog is happy. After all, a happy dog is a healthy dog! However, it can be confusing to understand what each of your dog's cues mean and the emotion behind it. For example, does your dog follow you around the house because she wants attention or because she loves you? Is she trying to alert you when she barks, or does she want to play?
These 13 signs will help you determine whether your dog is happy and content or if she needs more attention from you.
1. Wags Their Tail
The first and most obvious sign that your dog is happy is if she wags her tail. Dogs wag their tails for various reasons, but the most common reason is that they're excited or happy. If your dog is wagging her tail vigorously, it's a good sign that she's happy and wants to play.
Another way to tell if your dog is happy is by the position of her tail. If her tail is high in the air, it means she's confident and comfortable. On the other hand, if her tail is low to the ground, she may feel submissive or nervous.
2. Gives You Puppy Dog Eyes
While this sign may be harder to interpret, it's still an excellent way to tell if your dog is happy. If your dog is looking at you with what's called "puppy dog eyes," it means she's trying to communicate with you. This gaze is often used as a way to say "I love you" or "I'm happy."
So, next time your dog gives you those big, brown eyes, take it as a sign of her affection!
3. Yawns and Smiles
Did you know that dogs' yawning and smiling are actually signs of happiness? It's true! When your dog yawns or smiles, she's releasing endorphins that make her feel happy. So, if you see your dog yawning or smiling, it's a good sign that she's content and happy.
4. Relaxed Mouth
Do you know the saying, "A dog's mouth is the window to her soul?" Well, it turns out there's some truth to that! One way to tell if your dog is happy is by looking at her mouth. If her mouth is relaxed and open, it means she's comfortable and happy. On the other hand, if her mouth is closed or her teeth are showing, she may feel stressed or anxious.
5. Ears Back
Another sign of a happy dog is if her ears are back. This is because when a dog's ears are back, it means she's relaxed and comfortable. If your dog's ears are perked up or forward, she may feel alert or anxious.
6. Eats Frequently And Regularly
Just like humans, dogs need to eat regularly to stay healthy. If your dog is eating frequently and regularly, it's a good sign that she's happy and content. However, if your dog isn't eating as much as usual or is losing weight, it may be a sign that she's not feeling well.
7. Enjoys Playing And Games
A dog that's happy will often want to play and have fun. If your dog enjoys playing fetch, tug-of-war, or any other game, it's a good sign that she's content and happy. However, if your dog doesn't want to play or is showing signs of aggression when you try to play with her, it may be a sign that she's not feeling well. However, the exception to this rule is if you have an older dog. Older dogs often don't have the same energy levels as younger dogs and may not want to play as much.
8. Gets Excited When Seeing You
Dogs are known for their loyalty, and one way you can tell if your dog is happy is if she gets excited when she sees you. If your dog wags her tail, barks, or jumps when she sees you, it's a good sign that she's happy to see you. However, if your dog doesn't seem interested in seeing you or is showing signs of aggression, it may be a sign that she's not happy.
9. Sleeping Regularly
Just like humans, dogs need to sleep regularly to stay healthy. If your dog is frequently sleeping and for long periods of time, it's a good sign that she's happy and content. However, if your dog isn't sleeping as much as usual or seems restless, it may be a sign that she's not feeling well.
10. Showing Their Belly
This is perhaps the most definitive sign that a dog is happy. When a dog shows her belly, it means she's feeling relaxed and comfortable. It's also a way of saying "I trust you" to the person she's showing her belly to. However, if your dog is growling or showing her teeth when she shows her stomach, it may signify that she's feeling threatened or anxious.
11. Relaxed Body Language
Another sign of a happy dog is if she has relaxed body language. This means her tail is not wagging, her ears are not perked up, and she's not panting. If your dog is showing any of these signs, it may be a sign that she's feeling stressed or anxious.
A happy dog is typically well-behaved. This means she listens to commands, doesn't bark excessively, and doesn't destroy things. If your dog is exhibiting any of these behaviors, it's a good sign that she's happy.
13. Relaxed Tongue
A dog's tongue can tell you a lot about how she's feeling. If your dog's tongue is relaxed and not panting, it's a good sign that she's happy. However, if your dog's tongue is hanging out of her mouth and she's panting heavily, it may be a sign that she's not feeling well.