Is Your Pet Really Happy?

Is Your Pet Really Happy?

With 68% of US households owning at least one pet, it should come as no surprise that we’re a nation of animal lovers. But owning a pet is a lot more work than filling out the adoption forms and making sure their food bowl isn’t empty.

If you love your furry (or scaly) friend, you want to do everything you can to ensure you have a happy pet on your hands. Luckily, our beloved pets communicate their feelings with us every day. You just have to know what to look for.

Do you want to know more? Keep reading to learn how you can tell if your pet is truly happy.

Table of Contents


Dogs are one of the most expressive pets you can own. So, it’s usually easy to tell when they’re happy. Keep an eye out for the following signs that your pooch is loving life.

  • Maintaining a soft gaze with relaxing blinks
  • Maintaining eye contact and/or leaning into you while being pet
  • No destructive behaviors when left home alone
  • Playfulness
  • Laying with their belly up and tongue out
  • Wiggling their body without tensing muscles
  • Smiling
  • Wagging their tail
  • Eating well

If your dog is growling, showing aggression, has his tail tucked behind his legs, or displays destructive behavior, they’re feeling stressed or afraid. Consider visiting your vet to discuss what steps you should take to make your pup happy.


Cats have a reputation for being a bit more aloof than dogs. However, they still have plenty of ways to express their happiness. If your furbaby is showing any of the below signs, they’re a happy kitty.

  • Relaxed, upright tail with a bend at the tip
  • Slow blinking
  • Playfulness
  • Kneading
  • Normal grooming
  • Crawling on your lap
  • Showing belly
  • Headbutting
  • Purring
  • Eating well

While some cats may be glued to your lap, others may prefer relaxing on your home or office furniture when you’re not using it. So, don’t think that your cat is unhappy just because they’re not a lap cat.

If your cat is excessively grooming (i.e. leaving bald spots), hissing, scratching, eliminating outside the litter box, or hiding away for most (or all) of the day, you should talk to your vet as your cat may be sick or unhappy.


Rabbits are prey animals. This means that they typically don’t like being held and may be afraid of humans and other pets.

However, you can still create a peaceful and happy life for your pet rabbit. The following are signs that your bunny is one happy floof.

  • Lots of energy
  • Playfulness
  • Licking your hands or face
  • Excited about food and/or playtime

If you’re rabbit freezes, has bulging eyes, is aggressive, or is excessively jumpy, they are likely feeling afraid. Do more research or talk to your vet to learn how you can create an environment that they’ll feel safe and happy in.


Yes, that’s right — even fish show us when they’re happy! Keep a lookout for the follow sings that your scaly friend is pleased.

  • Actively and energetically swimming around the tank
  • Quickly reaching the surface at feeding time
  • Shiny and healthy scales
  • Gills are expanding regularly but not rapidly

If your fish cowers in the corner, has dull scales, is aggressive towards other fish, or doesn’t seem interested in eating, research how you can improve their tank so your fish can really thrive.

Owning a Happy Pet

Every pet has their own unique way of communicating with their humans. If your furbaby is playful, energetic, and eating well, they’re likely one happy pet!

Are you thinking about bringing a hamster or guinea pig into your home? Learn how you can properly care for a small pet today!


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