Warwick Bethwaite

We often don’t understand that a dog’s mental processing is quite similar to ours when it comes to emotions. If a dog has been through trauma, such as being previously abused, it’s noticeable and easy to pick up on.

Making sure your doggo is emotionally stable is crucial if you want to be able to bond with him/her. We chat below about how to take care of your dog’s mental health, especially if you’ve adopted.

Previously Abused

If you’ve adopted, great job! You’re giving a pupper another chance at life and love. However, depending on their previous owners, there is a chance that they have been neglected and hurt and, as mentioned above, it will show.

If a dog has been abused, it will quiver and lower themselves to the floor at your loud voice or commands. If this is a problem, make sure you change the way they react to your commands without hurting the doggo. Try giving them treats for good behaviour as well as a soft rub behind the ears and don’t raise your voice with every command.

Eventually, with a little bit of love and some trust, your pup will start wagging their tail.

Rewarding and Discipline

When we reward or discipline our pups, we need to make sure we’re doing it for the right reasons and at all times, focusing on their mental well-being.

Rewarding doggo is the best way to teach good behaviour and tricks. When starting with obedience training, it’s perfect to use treats as a reward commodity. However, as they grow older, giving them constant treats can lead to poor health. You have two options: get tasty treats that are healthy or slowly substitute treats with ear rubs and “Good doggy!”.

The latter works out less expensive over time.

Disciplining doggo is an important way of either exerting dominance or letting them know their behaviour is not good!

Do not hit your doggo. This leads to poor mental health and is cruel. There are other ways to discipline your pup – here are just a few pointers:

  • Say NO. Then tell doggo to sit.
  • Push the pup on its side and lean over to exert dominance.
  • Water guns: Spray the dog if its behaviour is bad (If your dog doesn’t like playing with water)
  • Distract: Make loud noises and get them to focus on you.

Taking care of a dog’s mental health is, more often than not, neglected when rewarding and disciplining them. Be sure to treat your doggo with love and dominance, so that they can love and protect you in return.

Hitting your dog should never be an option. It’s almost always the cause of poor mental health and social integration difficulties.

Take care of your doggo!