By Mary Tully |

Most pets don’t need much to be happy. For the most part, our pets just want to be with us, which is responsible for the majority of a pet’s level of happiness. They also want to go outside, and they want to go outside with us. Your pet also needs good food and healthy communication with their human family members.

The happiest pets are not the ones with the biggest yards or fanciest houses. The happiest pets are the ones who are fully incorporated into their families.

Give your pet a job.
Think about what your pet was made to do and figure out where you can fit them into your lifestyle more often. They might “help” mom or dad with the baby all day, be an “expert” gardening assistant, or go on hikes every morning.

Make small changes in your day-to-day routine.
We enjoy things more when our pets are around! Did you know that when you touch your pet, your brain releases happy hormones (dopamine) into your system?

Try some of these small changes:

  • Train your dog to fetch diapers or some other item you need throughout the day.
  • Take a dog-yoga class.
  • Have your cat be part of your daily meditation.
  • Find out what restaurants in your area are dog-friendly.
  • Have dog play dates with your friends!

Your pet will be better trained, just by default!
Training is communication, so the more time you spend with your pet, the more you are interacting with them and therefore the more chances you give them to learn how to interact with you. Animals who are out and about are well adjusted and happy!

The more mental and physical energy your dog spends while with you, the less they have left over to get into trouble.
This means a giant decrease in behaviors like chewing, jumping, leash-pulling, barking, digging, and possibly even anxiety and aggression.

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