Is My Pet Happy?
We all know what it takes to look after a pet: food, fresh water, shelter, basic medical care and, of course, lots of love and attention. For many pet owners, modern life makes it easier than ever to provide these basic necessities for the animals in our lives, giving us much more time to devote to their mental and emotional well being.
At Schertz Animal Hospital, we know that the first step toward keeping your pet happy is understanding what a happy pet looks like! We’ve put together our list of the top ways you can tell if your pet is happy, and of course a few tips on keeping them that way.
Windows to the Soul
The eyes can tell you a great deal about whether or not your pet is happy. When they’re feeling good, a pet’s eyes and eyelids are relaxed. They may blink a lot, especially cats who may purposely blink slowly at you as a sign of affection and trust. Wide eyes (showing whites) or narrowed eyelids are signs of fear or anger.
Everyone knows that dogs (usually) wag their tails in happiness. When it comes to cats, a tail lashing back and forth often indicates anger or an impending attack. Instead, look for a tail held high, perhaps with a little “hook” at the end. This means kitty is happy, confident, and curious.
The Daily Routine
Happy pets keep themselves looking good, especially cats. A lack of daily grooming should be cause for concern, as it can indicate underlying health or emotional problems. Similarly, most pets stick to a regular routine for eating and sleeping. Don’t hesitate to let us know if your pet seems to be doing more or less of either.
Kittens and puppies tend to be playful by nature, but even a small amount of playfulness in an older pet can indicate happiness or contentment. A quick burst of energy that causes your pet to run around like crazy, a fun game of tug-of-war with your dog, or even a lazy paw patting at your leg or a dangling string are
Keeping Your Pet Happy
Although it’s not inherently difficult to keep a pet happy, it does take time and energy each day.
- All pets need daily exercise, whether that’s a walk, game of fetch, or a session with a feather chaser or laser pointer. Indoor cats should have access to vertical surfaces, such as shelves or a tall cat tree for climbing, and several safe scratching surfaces.
- Just like with humans, a pet’s overall health plays a big role in how happy they are. Adhere to your pet’s regularly scheduled wellness examinations, and follow your veterinarian’s suggestions for diagnostic testing and dental examinations and cleanings. Make grooming and home dental care a non-negotiable part of your pet care routine.
- Your pet’s relationship to you is vital to their happiness. Interact with your pet each day through playing, talking, petting, and cuddling. If your pet is left alone for long periods of time each day, enlist the help of a neighbor, pet sitting service, or doggie daycare to provide exercise and company.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information, or to schedule an appointment for your pet.