How to Make Your Dog Happier & Smarter

A smiling black dog on a chair

Compared to humans, dogs' lives are short. So, let's make sure that while they're with us, our dogs' lives are happy and enriched in all of the different ways they need. Dogs need food and water, sure, but they also need mental and physical stimulation, socializing, and quality time with their favorite humans. Read on to find out more about how to enrich your dog's life.

Keep Your Dog Healthy

The first step to making your dog's life the best it can be is to make sure that your dog is getting the best and most appropriate food, water, and treats for its life stage. Make sure you're feeding your puppy the proper puppy food, like Fromm Gold Puppy Dry Food. If you have an adult dog, make sure that your dog is eating the appropriate amount of food and seeing his favorite vet regularly. 

Keep Your Dog Stimulated

 A tan dog playing with a puzzle toy

The best way to enrich your dog's life is to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Although these two types of dog enrichment are closely linked, they are different. Mentally stimulate your dog by making them think: playing choice games, helping them rely on their sense of smell, or giving them puzzle toys are all great choices for mentally stimulating your dog. Teaching your dog new tricks is an easy way to create a win-win situation with your smart dog: they learn, and you reap the benefits. 

Let Your Dog Socialize

Even though you mean the world to your dog, you probably shouldn't be her entire world. Your dog needs to be able to function well outside of your house and yard, and that means that you need to help your dog socialize: with other humans, and with other dogs. Socialization is especially critical to young puppies. 

As soon as your puppy has had their shots, start taking them out with you - to the store, to your favorite dog-friendly restaurant, or just on a walk at a nearby park. Dog parks can be chaotic, especially for young puppies, so you may want to try arranging a one-on-one playdate with another young dog in your neighborhood. This will help your dog learn how to be a dog around other dogs. 

If you rescue an older dog, you'll still want to socialize them, but be careful. If your dog has problems with strange humans or strange dogs, you may want to employ a trainer to help your dog adjust to strange situations well. 

Quality Time With Humans

Chocolate Lab pulling on a rope toy

The true key to making your dog smarter and happier is just to spend quality time with them. Lounging around watching TV is one thing, but interacting, playing, and loving on your dog will make a world of difference. Just like brushing your teeth, make playing with your dog a nightly habit.

If you've got multiple dogs, finding that quality time with each dog can be a challenge.  An easy way to get one-on-one time with your pup is to take them on a special walk or do something that they enjoy more than the other dogs do. Just like with human children, you'll want to be sure and find that special thing to do with each of your dogs. 

Black and white frenchie cozy on a bed

Determining how to make your dog happy, smart, and healthy can be a process. But if you're patient, you'll be rewarded. Pay attention to each area of dog enrichment: physical stimulation, mental stimulation, quality time with humans, and socialization, and you'll be on your way to an even better relationship with your dog.