When you buy a puppy or adopt a dog, you need to be ready to be their greatest advocate. That means listening to what they have to say, and being their voice. It means protecting them from situations where they are scared or vulnerable. Most of all, it means making sure their physical, emotional and mental needs are met.
Maslow’s pyramid of human needs provides an overview of what humans need to feel happy. These are divided into 4 categories:
• Physiological (the physical stuff, like food, water, shelter, sleep, air, etc- the things we’d die without);
• Safety (feeling safe and secure in the various different aspects of life);
• Love/belonging (friends, family, affection);
• Esteem (confidence, achievement, respect);
• Self-actualisation (morality, creativity, mental stimulation)
Although traditionally represented as a pyramid, with the most basic, physiological needs at the bottom of the pyramid, more recent research in humans has indicated that these needs may not be quite so hierarchical. Perhaps a more accurate representation would be a cyclical model:
Well… really, I don’t think dogs are that different! If you want a happy dog, you need to be hitting all the bases. Over the next few weeks I plan to look at how we can meet some of these needs.
Watch this space!