Dogs are sentient beings, they have rich emotional lives and can feel scared, happy, worried. Good animal welfare standards include ensuring they feel safe- safe in their environment, safe out on a walk, safe interactions with other species and humans, safe when being transported, safe when being handled, safe when eating and feeling safe in their daily lives
Help them feel safe
- Ensure they have positive associations to all that is new or that may worry them by using positive reinforcement methods of training only
Never force your dog into situations that make them feel threatened, worried or scared
A dog feeling safe and comfortable in their home
Dogs need mental stimulation to thrive.
Mental exercise tires a dog’s brain and body more than just physical exercise.
Opportunities to sniff, forage, explore, and eat from fun food puzzles all provide dogs with mental exercise.
Make their environment interesting and fun by giving them stuff to do: ball games with you, appropriate and safe dog chewies as well as scatter feeding to get them sniffing and scenting and for dogs who enjoy digging- create a digging patch especially for them
A dog engaged in clicker training- positive reinforcement
Provide your dog with food enrichment, like a food dispenser toy- Kong
Create a fun place for your dog to dig
Spend time with them
Dogs were domesticated to live closely with and alongside humans meaning that isolating them to a life with no contact goes against their genetic makeup and is an act of emotional and mental cruelty
Dogs need social contact and a happy, healthy relationship with their humans
Spend time with them through a game of fetch or “find it”; include them in family activities or take them for a walk where they can enjoy themselves, bond with you and sniff (it’s like reading the newspaper!)
Dogs need to have outlets to appropriate chewies. Chewing helps dogs feel calm and releases happy hormones in the brain
Dogs are social beings and enjoy social bonding with their humans
Sniffing is a critical part of a dog’s life, it is the way they “see” and “understand” their world
Play is a wonderful way to bond