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Keeping your dog happy at home

  • 9, May 2023
  • Read time: 5 mins

Just like their humans, dogs need a place to call home that is safe and secure, where they enjoy spending their time. Making sure your dog is happy at home is an important part of keeping them happy, healthy and calm.

We’ve teamed up with Dogs for Good to create this video and guide, which will give you some top tips to help make sure your home is the perfect place for your dog to spend their days.

1. Creating a safe space

Everyone needs their own space, and your dog is no different. They'll need a positive area within the home that feels secure, calm and quiet that they can access freely at any time.

The space should include a comfortable bed, perhaps with a blanket, and a bowl of fresh water nearby – make sure this is regularly topped up. A toy or two may also help to keep the space enjoyable for your dog.

2. Calming activities

Your dog's nose is one of the main ways they navigate and understand their world. They use scent to gather information about their immediate environment, and doing so can help them feel calm and safe.

Your home is no exception to this – in fact, it's probably the place that scent will be most important to their sense of security. Something you can do to engage with your dog in their home is incorporate scent-based activities into their daily routine.

These activities can include things like a snuffle mat or an interactive feeder, or a puzzle box. Your dog will enjoy using their incredible nose to hunt out their food or treats.

3. Independent time

As important as it is to engage with your dog in the home, you shouldn't feel that you need to be entertaining them at all times. Your dog should also feel comfortable being by themselves, both when you are in and out of the home, so they are not dependent on you for comfort and security.

They should be able to play or rest independently in the home.

4. Exercise routines

Exercise is a very important part of any dog's daily routine, and this can take place both within and outside of home. Both physical and emotional health can benefit massively from regular exercise – for both humans and dogs! – so it is vital to make sure your dog is regularly stimulated with daily walks, exercise and play.

If you are worried about letting your dog off the lead while out and about, you can check out our guide on how to teach your dog recall.

5. Training to build confidence

You may find that your dog is very comfortable and happy at home when you are there with them, but that they become agitated or distressed when you leave. This can be a sign of separation anxiety, and it can be upsetting for both you and your dog.

Training your dog can help to build their confidence in all areas of their life, and this is also true when it comes to being left alone. There are training techniques you can use to help make sure your dog is happy and comfortable even when they are alone at home.

6. Diet and nutrition

It would be difficult to find a dog who didn't enjoy their food and a few good treats now and then – some owners may well report that this is the highlight of their dog's day!

It may be tempting to try to keep your dog happy at home using food and treats, but this can risk some bad habits developing or disrupting your dog's overall diet. Keeping treats to a minimum and making sure they're as healthy as possible, while also being safe for your dog, is important, as is correct portion sizing.

7. Showing lots of love and affection

One of the most important and fulfilling parts of owning a dog is being able to give them lots of love and affection. This doesn't just mean stroking and cuddling them, but also providing lots of positive reinforcement, praise and encouragement, especially during periods of training, both in and out of the home.

This can help to build their confidence and make them feel more comfortable and secure, as well as increasing their overall happiness!

8. Rotate and introduce new toys

Make sure you regularly check your dog's selection of toys and refresh or rotate them as often as necessary. This may mean you have a collection in a cupboard and swap out two or three options every few weeks, for example, as well as adding in a new toy treat every now and then.

Take note of the kinds of toys that your dog enjoys playing with and the activities they find most engaging, as this will help to keep them interested and entertained.

Protecting your dog

Accidents and illnesses can happen, both in and out of the home, so it is important to make sure as your dog's owner that you are prepared. Pet insurance could help to provide peace of mind in the event that your dog becomes ill or is injured.

Begin your dog insurance quote today

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