Are you asking yourself, “Is my dog happy?” Most dog owners ask themselves this question at least once in their lifetime, so you’re not alone. Fortunately, you can find out whether your dog is happy by taking our Is My Dog Happy quiz and then reading the article below for more information on what makes a dog happy.
Is My Dog Happy Quiz
Is My Dog Happy?
The only way to know if your dog is happy is to look for the following signs:
- Wagging Tail
- Eye Contact
- Relaxed Body
- Healthy Appetite
- Facial Expressions
- Rubs Against You
- Exposes the Belly
Learn more about the above signs your dog is happy below and then read how to tell if he/she is unhappy.
Signs Your Dog Is Happy
You can tell if your dog is happy by considering:
- Body Language
- Facial Expressions
Dog’s Body Language
The answer to, “Is my dog happy?” may lie in your dog’s body language. This is especially true when you come home from being gone for a few hours.
A happy dog will greet you as soon as you walk through the door with a wagging tail. The dog’s ears may be lifted in excitement as well.
Some dogs will jump, run, and even grab toys in anticipation of playtime.
Eye contact is a great sign of a happy pooch. A dog will not meet the eyes of people they do not like, so if you’re able to meet your dog’s eyes, the chances of your pup being happy are high.
Simply returning the excitement your dog exhibits will ensure your dog continues your dog’s happiness.
What if your dog’s behavior is more relaxed? A relaxed dog isn’t an unhappy dog. Just like humans dogs differ in how they show their happiness. A dog’s behavior may even change over time, especially in relation to older dogs.
A relaxed dog is another sign of happiness. A dog’s ears may actually be done when happy because there is no stress. Tail wagging may also not be a thing for some dogs because of their relaxed behavior. As long as the tail is relaxed and not erect due to stress, your dog is most likely just a happy relaxed dog.
Many pet parents greet their dogs with a treat or meal. Happy dogs will begin eating right away. It’s a way to show that they are appreciative of their humans.
Many dogs will look as if they are smiling when they greet their human at the door. A smiling dog is a happy dog. Look for an open mouth with teeth showing. The eyes may even squint just like people’s eyes do when they smile. It really does look like the dog is smiling. If that smile is paired with tail wagging, it’s even more of a sign that your dog is happy.
Dog Rubs Against You
Another sign that a dog is happy is when he/she rubs against you. Rubbing the face or body against your legs or arms is a great sign your pup is full of joy.
Read More: What Does It Mean When a Dog Rubs Against You?
Exposes the Belly
“A dog that exposes its belly to you—usually with a slightly open mouth, light panting, and wagging tail—[is exhibiting] a sign of trust,” says Evelyn Kass-Williamson, DVM, an integrative veterinarian who specializes in pet nutrition.
Signs Your Dog Isn’t Happy
Just like how you can look for signs your dog is happy, you can also look for signs your dog isn’t happy. One sign is destructive behavior.
Chewing on rugs, furniture, baseboards, stairs or anything else is a sign your dog is frustrated, bored, and unhappy. It may be due to a lack of mental stimulation while you are gone. Instead of punishing your pup, try to provide plenty of toys to play with while you’re away. Browse Dog Ownership Guide’s picks for the best DOG TOYS.
Avoiding Eye Contact
Dogs who avoid eye contact often do not feel well or just aren’t happy about something. Just think about people when they get sick or get into argument with someone. They don’t want to face people either. Dogs are just the same.
Lazy and Unmotivated
Lazy and unmotivated are not the same as relaxed dogs. Below you will learn the difference between them.
Healthy dogs are active dogs. When you suggest that it’s playtime, a dog should jump into action ready to head to the dog park or backyard. A dog who doesn’t react is usually unhappy, which could be due to many factors: sickness, lack of mental stimulation, guilt for destructive behavior, etc.
Out of the Ordinary Behavior
Dogs will change over time. Older dogs won’t exhibit happiness the same as when they were puppies, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t living their best life. If the changes in your dog’s behavior are slight over time, it’s likely due to age. If the changes are sudden, contact your dog’s veterinarian for advice. The vet can help you answer the question, “Is My Dog Happy?”.
Comment Below About Your “Is My Dog Happy Quiz”
What did you find out about your dog? Is he/she happy? Comment below with your experience.
Take a nother quiz!
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What Does It Mean When a Dog Winks at You
What Does It Mean When a Dog Nibbles on You
January 3, 2022 at 9:40 am
The way our pup wafs his tail he is extremely happy. Thank for the great blog
January 5, 2022 at 7:10 am
Oh, I am so glad! There’s no better feeling to know that we make our dogs happpy. Happy Dogs ~ Happy Owners!
Roy A Ackerman, PhD EA
January 3, 2022 at 10:03 am
When I had a dog, it was routinely happy (until the end of its life- kind of like humans). Great descriptions.
January 5, 2022 at 7:11 am
Thanks for your comment Roy! Sorry to hear about your pup. We had a Chesapeake Bay Retriever who lived until the ripe old age of 17! And yes, she was definitely not happy in the end. I would say content, though. Content with a life lived with people she loved and loved her. 😊
January 3, 2022 at 3:42 pm
All through reading this post, I was thinking about my friends’ dog! I can think of all the many times I saw her happy, based on your descriptions. But recently, she came to stay with us while my friends were on a cruise. She was very sad to be without the one of them who she is closest to, and she showed it. She often didn’t want to eat when we gave her food, but would get up in the middle of the night and eat, probably because by then, she was starving. And she just seemed sad and kind of apathetic. But all that changed in an instant as soon as they got back!
January 5, 2022 at 7:13 am
Hi Jeanine! I know, it’s crazy how attached dogs become to their owners. I often wonder if they believe their owners abandoned them. 🤔 I guess maybe at first, but if it happens regularly, they understand… In a way like, “Oh well.. they will be back.” 😂 Thanks for your comment!
January 3, 2022 at 5:53 pm
What a great post! I take it that our dog, Seamus, is a pretty happy guy. Except for New Year’s – he was pretty scared by all the fireworks. But he recovered well. His favorite thing is to roll on the grass when we walk him. Lately, he comes and puts his head on my knee when he wants me to pet him. I also love all the photos in this post. Thanks for a fun, informative post.
January 5, 2022 at 7:14 am
Hi Laura! Yes, our dogs do all of those things too. Well, we have four. So, one rolls in the grass while we’re walking. Another one puts his head on my knee to pet him. And well, all of them had a fit New Year’s night with the fireworks. 😂
January 3, 2022 at 9:00 pm
I love this post. My dog checks all the boxes except for one. She doesn’t love making eye contact. Maybe, it is because she is a rescue. After 5 years with us, it isn’t a matter of trust. I think it is just a habit with her and she is a little older for new tricks. Her wagging tail and perked up ears tell me that she is a happy pup!
January 3, 2022 at 9:13 pm
I take it back. She does make eye contact when she wants something from me. Lol
January 5, 2022 at 7:15 am
😂 Elisa! That’s awesome. Yeah, I don’t think dogs are very fond of eye contact but they know that it will get their humans attention. My husband often says they are burning holes through me. 🤣 Thank you so much for your comment. Have a great day!
January 5, 2022 at 9:08 am
An excellent guide for dog owners. Our pup Rosie is amazing. She often shows signs of being sad on our walks. (tail tucked in between her legs, walks behind me and head down). She wants to stop and say hello to everyone..and I have to pull her away or our walks would be hours long. She is a social butterfly.
January 5, 2022 at 8:17 pm
These are such adorable signals to look for when checking in on our puppies! Especially the belly being exposed! too cute!
January 6, 2022 at 3:04 am
These are great and helpful info to all dog owners and this is perfect for my brother who has a new pup.
Miss Farah Al Zadjaly
January 6, 2022 at 5:23 am
This is good to know.. and its important to know. It sets such a mood when your dog is happy.
January 6, 2022 at 8:52 am
As a dog owner, I always check if my dogs have a good appetite. It’s great to know the other factors.
January 6, 2022 at 8:55 am
Owning a dog or any pet requires a certain degree of psychic ability and understanding of the nature of the dogs. I ask this question to myself a lot. Is my dog happy? Thanks for helping me out
January 6, 2022 at 8:56 am
These signs made me realize that my dog is happy with me 🙂 Thank you
January 6, 2022 at 10:20 am
I’m a new owner of a baby chihuahua. This is such a great guide. I’ll definitely use it to check if my new puppy is happy.
January 6, 2022 at 12:40 pm
Such good information for dog owners! I do not have one but I can see how this owuld be good to know !
January 7, 2022 at 12:14 am
Great post. I think trying to figure out animals is so interesting!
January 8, 2022 at 7:04 am
This is interesting! I’m going to get myself a dog soon and this will help me a lot. Thank you for sharing!