Our pets make us so happy. But how do we know if they're happy? It may sound difficult, but don't worry. It's easy to tell once you know what you're looking for.
On some level, you're probably aware of whether you feel bonded with your dog. (If you're on this website, I'm guessing you do.) Most of us know our dogs well enough to know what their signals of happiness and sadness are. In addition, look for these signals that your dog is happy:
Tail wagging: Duh.
Invitations to play: this may include the "play bow" position, in which the dog's head and front paws are low to the ground while their butt sticks up in the air. They may also jump on their hind legs and, in some cases, bark excitedly.
Invitations for belly rubs: your dog rolling onto their back and requesting a belly rub is a sign that they trust you. (Obviously, give them the belly rub.)
Nestling close to you: your dog hanging out close to you is a sign that they feel relaxed and enjoy just being next to you. Awww!
Relaxed eyes and mouth: when your dog feels happy and at-ease, their eyes and mouth will look ... well, normal. Your dog will probably have their mouth closed or opened very slightly, and their eyes will look soft and relaxed.
Cats don't wear their hearts on their sleeves quite as much as dogs do, but don't worry, there are still plenty of ways to tell whether your cat is happy. Look for these signs:
Purring: Duh. Purring is not only adorable, it's a handy signal that your cat feels happy and trusts you.
Meowing: If you have a vocal cat, you probably know what their different meows mean. Generally, a higher-pitched meow indicates contentment. However, some cats just aren't that vocal, so don't take it personally if you have a quiet kitty.
Grooming: Cats love to groom themselves, but they won't do it if they feel terrible. If your cat grooms themselves a healthy amount, that's a good sign that your kitty feels content.
Play: Younger cats, of course, play more than older cats, but any amount of play is a good sign that your cat is happy in their environment.
Confidence and curiosity: A happy cat gives off an air of confidence by holding their head high and engaging with their environment.
If you're a bird owner, there are also plenty of ways to tell whether your bird is happy.
Now go forth and hang with your happy pets!