Raising an emotionally stable dog resembles raising a child, only with a slight twist. Our furry friends don’t speak our language, and we can only understand them by keeping an ear out for the cues. Their emotions will reflect through the happy eyes, wiggling tails and good overall mood.
First things first, our pets need to move around to feel healthy and content. That is why we fell in love with them in the first place, isn’t it? Their joyful nature is expressed through long active walks (that might leave us panting and breathless in the end) but hey, you knew what were you signing up for.
Our furry friends have different gene predispositions, are you are doing them, and yourself, a big favor if you look it up before the adoption. Some of them already know how to fill in their emotional cups, but others might need your kindness and devotion to relieve the stress. You might own the most affectionate dog who needs your cuddles, or a high-energy playful active breed of dog whose main need is to be active.
Think of them as beautiful little humans, who express their emotions the same way you do. They also have a heart and a brain, just like our human race, which makes them sensitive and susceptible to everything that is happening around them. That is why we consider the first stipulation between you and your dog should always be – love.
We tend to complicate things by not expressing our emotions, but our companion animals never fail to remind us that emotions are who we are. You will easily notice if your dog starts feeling ill more often then usual, or becomes scared and defensive in front of other people. Another alarm is the so-called “impulse control” where you don’t see them excitedly exploring the environment through the senses.
Training your pet through reinforcement is therefore not a luxury, but a necessity. They are expected to know how to behave in the public, and what better way to learn than proper training? Speaking of which, dog owners are also expected to ensure they don’t over-exercise their fluffy friends.
To balance out their emotional state, exercising should come naturally, and not as a rigid regime. While they are strong animals, if we as the owners exaggerate, it could lead to a series of problems, such as exhaustion and, even worse, injuries. Most dogs need up to an hour of physical activity which keeps them in good health.
Make sure your canine pal is fed properly, by providing them with the correct amount of essential nutrients. They need clean water, minerals, vitamins, and energy-providing fats. Their diet should consist of meat, fresh fruits, and vegetables, avoiding grass and dairy products that cause discomfort.
Although we don’t spend the entire day with our pets, they should know that they are heard. Being heard is equivalent to feeling loved, and every responsible dog parent is expected to attend to dog’s needs before their emotional cup drains.
Over-defensive and restless behavior is a sign that something is not quite right. Your fluffy friend might also display some diet-related issues, such as overeating or the loss of appetite. You should be able to notice the swift changes before it’s too late and they are passively lying down in a corner.
The good news is that you can do so much good for your canine pal by letting them sniff, play and dig. They are already a part of the family, and spending a day with you out in nature will fill their little hearts with joy. If you let them roam around freely, they will get the daily doses of happiness, by elevating the serotonin levels.
Good food, plenty of water and a safe corner to rest are all it takes to raise an emotionally intelligent dog. Just like humans, they also function very well on a routine schedule, making it easier for the owners to plan out the day.
Just like the kids, dogs need a safe environment to play. Freedom to explore and make choices is their nature and unconditional love is their purpose. If you are lucky enough to be a dog parent, you already have it all. Making sure they are healthy and happy will fill up your emotional cup too.