Recently Psychology Today published an article by Dr. Marc Bekoff entitled, “Can Animals Be Too Happy or Have Too Much Fun?“
He doesn’t have the answer, but does point to some compelling evidence that this may be the case. For instance, a lamb at play runs into a cactus and starts bleating. This could tip off predators that the animal is injured.
That got me thinking about our domesticated companion animals- dogs and cats.
We buy tons of toys and treats, trek to the dog park and daycare, and bring our companions with us, sometimes when we really shouldn’t, all in an effort to make them “happy.”
Should happiness be the goal?
Healthy play for an animal is good exercise, and that keeps our companions healthy, just as it does us. Treats can be used as a reward. Toys can fill the void for a companion when we’re gone.
But should I be concerned whether or not my dog or cat is happy? And if so, to what extent?
What do you think?