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15 ways to make your dog happy

Happy Dog

Have you ever watched your dog sleep? His paws twitch, his tail wags and he lets out little barks. Perhaps he's dreaming of a romp through a meadow or a game of fetch with his best friend. Ever wish you could make him this happy while he was awake? You can. Here are 15 ways to brighten his day - and maybe his whole life.

  1. Groom often. Regular brushing doesn't just make your pooch look pretty; it also helps prevent skin disease and can strengthen the bond between you.
  2. Feed him like a king. A high-quality food promotes your dog's health and well-being.
  3. Banish fleas! These pesky insects can make your dog miserable, plus they can cause allergies and transmit tapeworms. Ask your vet for treatment recommendations.
  4. Play each day. Dogs don't understand when you say, "I had a rough day at work and I just want to lie on the couch." Take the time to play; you might be surprised how much better you’ll both feel.
  5. Keep his water fresh. Would you like to drink water that's been sitting in a bowl for days? Neither does he! Plenty of fresh water is vital to your dog's good health, so keep his water dish full and change it daily.
  6. Take a trip. Whether it's a drive out to the country or a quick jaunt to the park down the road, your dog will love the change of scenery.
  7. Don't play doctor. Unless you're a vet, don't try to treat your dog's ailments yourself. Medicines meant for humans can have adverse effects on dogs. Your vet can provide appropriate remedies and advise you on keeping a canine first-aid kit handy. It may save your dog's life.
  8. Dog-proof your home. Take a dog's view and look for possible dangers your house poses to your pooch. Do you see a dangling electrical cord? An inviting, open cupboard full of cleaning supplies? Sharp tools in plain view? Put away anything that could injure a curious canine.
  9. Walk, walk, walk. The two of you will bond during this time. Plus, walking is good exercise for both of you.
  10. Keep him slim. A slim, trim dog is a happy dog, so say no to table scraps and yes to exercise. If he needs to lose weight, try feeding IAMS Weight Control Formula. It helps burn fat while maintaining muscle mass.
  11. Clip those nails. When his nails get too long, your dog could be in discomfort. Ask your vet to teach you the tricks of trimming.
  12. Check those toys. Take a look at the toys your dog treasures. Are they safe and durable? Keep a special eye out for small parts that could be easily swallowed or sharp edges that could injure him.
  13. Let him sniff. Dogs love to sniff; it helps them discover new facts about their world. Take your dog to a park, an open field, or your favorite walking trail and let him sniff all the new scents.
  14. Fetch! Head out to the garden to toss around a rubber ball or teach your dog to catch a Frisbee.
  15. Try to understand his language. Your dog can't tell you how he's feeling, so you need to learn to read his body language. Low-hanging tail? This can mean fear or anxiety. Wagging tail? Happiness, of course! If you keep your eyes peeled, pretty soon you'll be a pooch-language pro.

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