We are supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Thank you!

There are a few things you can do as a dog owner that make a huge difference in your dog’s life. Sometimes it’s the small things that make the biggest difference…


Aromatherapy can be a great way to calm an over-excited puppy. But it’s also a great way to ward off anxiety or doggy depression.

Lavender has been shown to have anti-anxiety properties for dogs, and it can even reduce conflict between animals.

The analgesic property of lavender also means it’s very calming to your dog and helps them to sleep. An hour before bed is a good time to get out the essential oils.

Lavender has even been shown to reduce pain levels in humans, and so it can be very soothing to an older dog with arthritis.

The catch is this: the lavender aromatherapy is for your dog, and they can smell 1000 to 10,000 times better than us humans!

This means you need to dilute the lavender oil substantially.

If you can smell it as you walk around the room, you’ve likely used too much.

If you can smell it when you are close to your burner, then this is a good amount.

A strong smell of lavender in the room means your dog is likely finding it overwhelming.

Battle the Boredom!

You may not know it, but you’re in a constant battle. The battle of your dog’s boredom.

Boredom in dogs is worse than you may realize. A bored dog will do almost anything to avoid monotony. This includes behaviors they may not even like!

It will lead to nuisance barking, trash bin diving, digging at carpets or in the garden, and a host of other unwanted behaviors.

And it can lead to obsessive behaviors, which are extremely difficult to resolve!

Which is why it’s so important that from the beginning, we are always one step ahead of the enemy of your dog: boredom.

So what tools do you have to fight and win this battle? Here they are:


Daily dog walks are a must-do! For working dog breeds, two walks are preferable.

Ball chasing is also a positive way to burn off excess energy.

If you don’t have the time, see if you can find a dog walker in your area to help out.

Puzzle Toys

Toys are good, but to keep the boredom away, you need to give your dog a mental workout. And puzzle toys are the best way to do this!

In fact, we spent a long time thinking about the best way a toy could stimulate a dog’s mind, and we came up with Hide’n’Treat.

Which you can buy here!

Of course, we are a little biased, but the reviews speak for themselves, too!


You should spend some time every day doing some form of dog training with your dog.

This isn’t to teach them tricks! It’s to work their minds and fight that boredom. It also makes them feel they have a job to do, and when they get it right, they get a treat.

A dog with a job is a happy dog!

Give Them a Smile

Dogs actually recognize a smile! And they can even attribute that smile to positive feelings, says one study.

“Our study demonstrates that dogs can distinguish angry and happy expressions in humans, (and) they can tell that these two expressions have different meanings,” says Ludwig Huber.

With our cavoodle, Bobby, I will give him a big smile whenever he’s looking at me. His ears drop slightly and his tail wags. He knows I’m happy, and it makes him happy!

Dogs are the best, aren’t they!

The above study also found that a dog that sees an angry face will attribute that to negative emotions and it can raise their stress and anxiety levels.

Dogs are sensitive to stress, and so the more we show them everything is good, the more they will relax.

An anxious dog is a dog that causes problems for you as an owner.

The bonus in this is it’s also a good cue for you to smile more, too.

Smiling releases molecules called neuropeptides, which fight off stress. Other neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins are also activated.

One study suggests smiling helps us recover faster from stress and can reduce our heart rate, too.

So whenever you and your dog make eye contact, remember to show off your pearly whites!

woman smiling at dog

Allow the Sniff!

When you walk your dog, it’s important that you let them stop and sniff whenever they want. As I mentioned earlier, dogs can smell up to 10,000 times better than we can.

It’s the way they process the world. A huge amount of information comes to them through their nose, and it stimulates their mind.

When you walk your dog, you are actually exposing them to an environment outside of their familiar smells and environment.

It’s not just a dog walk, it’s a sniff walk!

Welcome Home

When you come home from anywhere, your dog will likely be there to welcome you home. They’ve missed you and they want nothing more than your attention at that moment.

Which is why it’s so important to give it to them. Drop your things, put down your keys, and spend a few minutes giving them a good cuddle.

This will do two things; it keeps them happy! It tells them, yes, you are important to me.

And secondly, it means you get a wonderful welcome home every time you come through the door, because they won’t miss out on that special time with you.

Final Word

A happy dog is a well-behaved dog. And the only way we can make them happy is through many small things adding up together.

This list added some of the things that some owners may not think about, but they can be vital to keeping your dog happy.