How a Healthy and Happy Home will Benefit Your Dog

Your dog does so much to help improve and enrich your life! Let’s make sure you are giving back to them, ensuring they have the happiest life. 

We have done some research and found the top 5 ways that a happy home will benefit your dog.

brown and white staffie snuggled in white duvet

Make Them Comfortable 

Make sure that your dog has their own place that is safe, warm and cosy. This allows them to feel relaxed and comfortable. It is also better, especially for where they will be sleeping, to have a quiet comfortable space away from loud noises or busy areas of the house. Some dogs even prefer to sleep in a crate or a doggy den – somewhere that is theirs. 

Provide a Healthy Diet and Proper Nutrition 

It is crucial that your dog maintains a healthy weight for their size. Your vet will have a lot of advice about the most suitable food for your dog’s size, age and activity level. Believe me, I know how tempting it is to give in to those puppy dog eyes and sneak them some food from your own plate. However, not all human food is suitable for your dog and can badly affect their health. Remember how important it is for your pet to eat healthily. Now, we all love to give our pups treats, but they can contribute to weight gain. Treats are a great training tool, so we need to keep using them, but just in moderation. A nice bowl of clean fresh water is also essential, especially on hot days. 

brown staffie dog playing tug of war with white rope

Give Them Regular Exercise 

Your pup needs regular exercise for their physical and mental wellbeing. Getting outside for walks gives your dog the chance to stretch their legs, have a sniff around all the different smells and get fresh air. It also gives the opportunity keep them in shape and give them a change of scenery to break up their day. I would say that it is important to consider each dogs individual personalities. Some dogs like a calmer life, to cuddle and nap whilst others may prefer to play and be outside. Others may prefer long walks and meeting other dogs whereas others would rather spend their time pottering and sniffing around the local park or the garden. 

Offer Enrichment Activities and Training 

It is so important not only to exercise your dog’s body but also their mind. Providing your dog with enrichment activities is a great way to prevent boredom and teach them new skills. Also, if your dog is suffering from an injury or recovering from surgery, it can be a great way to tire them out.  Training your dog is also crucial to make them feel safe and secure. It will also build their confidence. Start your training young as this will give them the best start and help to prevent behaviour problems from developing as they grow. Dogs are very intelligent and will get bored if they’re not regularly stimulated. 

Check out our blog “How to Entertain Your Dog While Working from Homefor some enrichment ideas. 

woman with brown hair kneeling on bedroom floor playing paw with brown and cream dog

Show Them Love and Comfort 

Everyone deserves to feel loved, especially our canine companions. Showing them love and respect will help you build a bond with them. It is also important to praise and reward good behaviour. Another way to show them love, is by taking care of their grooming and medical needs to keep them looking healthy and feeling comfortable. We know that a trip to the vet isn’t always an enjoyable experience for some dogs, but it is essential that they have regular check-ups to they are healthy. If your dog is nervous, try dropping in with them to say hello and enjoy some treats, to help future treatments trips go as smoothly as possible. 

Let’s Make Sure we Show our Dogs Just how Much we Care

However much we would love to have a good chat with our pups, we can’t. So, although they can’t tell us how they feel, they will show us through their behaviour and body language. Spending time with your dog will allow you to get to know their behaviours, so you will know when they’re happy and notice if there are any changes. 

We would love to hear how your dog has helped you, send us a message on our socials – @wild_at_heart_foundation 

Goodwoof 2023 – A Dog’s Day Out Like No Other

This weekend, our founder, Nikki Tibbles, had the absolute joy of being welcomed back to the 2nd ever Goodwoof Weekend, held at Goodwood Estate – in the glorious Sussex countryside. She was accompanied by the beautiful Piccolina. A rescue dog who arrived from Greece 3 months ago and lives with the lovely Teresa from The Dog Vine. Check her out on Instagram. 

Nikki sat on a bench at Goodwoof, stroking Piccolina - a black and beige rescue dog from Greece

And what a weekend it was, featuring dogs of all shapes and sizes. Nikki eagerly accepted the invitation to speak alongside the esteemed Georgina Montagu and The Duke of Richmond at The Literary Corner. Furthermore, she had the opportunity to catch up with her beloved friend, DJ Fat Tony, who happens to be an ambassador for the Wild at Heart Foundation. Finally, she had the honour of judging the Chien Charmant Competition, to acknowledge and celebrate the perfect partnership between humans and pooch. 

There was also a beautifully presented gala dinner, which Nikki was honoured to attend. They thought of everything – it was all about the dogs, even down to the place settings. 

Poodle Parade 

Led by The Duke of Richmond, the parade saw glorious poodles of all sizes and colours parade through the grounds. The Duke holds the poodle in extremely high esteem on the Goodwood Estate and has fond memories of playing with his grandmother’s dog, Bruno, making it a breed very close to his heart. It was a spellbinding moment, displaying a sea of curly-coated creatures from all over the country. 

the Duke of Richmond standing on the steps of the Goodwood Estate surrounded by his four poodle


With the brief ‘A Companion Piece – Dog’s at Work’ this year’s architecture competition saw architects considering the pivotal role that our pups play in our lives. It also focused on how they contribute to our happiness and well-being, with a focus on life in the office. The lovely Kevin McCloud MBE described how the Barkitecture competition was “in pursuit of one thing, the finest, most innovative 21st-century ideas for kennels.” Nikki particularly loved the Tennis Ball Kennel, Fetch, and she said her Ruby would have loved it! 

Bright green cage kennel filled with bright yellow tennis balls

Chien Charmant 

Nikki enthusiastically agreed to help judge the Chien Charmant competition, an event that celebrates the unique bond between owners and their cherished companions. This competition is the equivalent of Goodwoof’s “Best in Show”.  The categories for this year’s comp were Union, Spirit and Swagger. Nikki, along with the other judges had the difficult task of choosing the best human and dog pairing, showing the most wit, personality, bond, charm, charisma and style. The People’s Choice category gave the fans on social media the chance to show their love for the competitors.

Nikki on the Chien Charmant stage sitting with the other judges

Literary Corner 

The Literary Corner hosted a series of exciting events featuring talks, panel discussions, book signings, and readings by renowned writers who share a deep affection for dogs. They had a lot of amazing stories to share! There was even a bookshop complete with author signings.

Nikki had the pleasure of joining Georgina Montagu as she spoke about her new book ‘Top Dogs: A British Love Affair’. The book celebrates the British dog owners and their loyalty to their dogs and features Nikki’s beautiful rescue dogs. She was pleased to meet The Duke of Richmond, who was accompanied by Seamus, the Mascot of The Irish Guards. He spoke about his family’s connection to the regiment.

During the conversation, Nikki also had the opportunity to discuss our work here at Wild at Heart Foundation. She emphasised the importance of being kind to one another and teaching people to be kind to dogs. Additionally, she mentioned how our organisation strives to make a positive impact on both canines and humans alike. Want to read more? Check out our mission and the projects we are working on.

Nikki, Georgina, The Duke and the Interviewer sitting at Goodwoof Literary Corner surrounded by dogs and greenery

Goodwoof 2023 – Bring on Next Year!

Tickets for the 2024 Goodwoof weekend are already on sale for a limited time so get them while you can! 

Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to Goodwoof for inviting Nikki to this year’s spectacular festival of dogs. Above all, we are excited about what next year will bring and hope to play an even more pivotal part.

Check out Nikki’s interview with Georgina below and take a look at our socials for highlights of the weekend. 


How Your Dog Can Make a Difference to Your Mental Health

Disclaimer: talks of mental health, anxiety and depression which can be triggering 

It is important to recognise when we feel anxious and find ways to deal with it, so we have been exploring the benefits of how man’s best friend can have a significant impact on your mental health and anxiety.

women cuddling white dog in the sunset - how your dog can make a difference


How owning a dog can make a difference to your mental health 

Reducing Stress 

Some studies have shown that stroking your pet can lower your blood pressure and your heart rate, which helps with your health and reduces your stress levels. Having a dog can also help your body release dopamine and serotonin, the happy hormones, which relieve your stress hormones and help with creating a feeling of calm. 

2 women and 1 man in workout clothes crouched down stroking white dog

Improving Physical Health 

Dogs need regular exercise to maintain a healthy life, going out for regular walks will not only keep your dog healthy but also keep you healthy. Daily walks outside boost physical well-being, and it is proven that being outside in nature really benefits anxiety.

Check out our blog Control of Your Dog on a Walk for advice on the best practices for walking your pup.

Helping with Feelings of Loneliness 

When you suffer with poor mental health, there can be a decline in socialising, and it is often met with feelings of loneliness. Taking your dog for a walk is a great way to make conversation, as having a love of dogs can provide a common ground which you may not have previously had – helping reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Having your dog by your side will also help you to feel more confident. 

women with curly brown hair lying on bed reading a book with white dog lying with her

Creating Routine and Purpose 

Looking after a dog is a big responsibility, they rely on you for their food, exercise and love – being responsible can have a positive effect on your wellbeing. Having a set routine can give you focus and can give you clarity on otherwise uncertain feelings. Your dog can give you a reason to get up, put one foot in front of the other and having them by your side will encourage good behaviours and habits. 

Did you know there are plenty of benefits for your dog too? 

Being in a happy home will ensure you have a happy pooch. Keeping your dog stimulated through exercise and play will stop them from feeling bored, making them feel happy and loved. Dogs also crave routine which will make them feel secure and safe in their environment. 

It is so important to give your pup a healthy and happy life and in return they will offer you, love, companionship, fun and a feeling of routine and purpose. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

If you’re struggling and need some support or advice, there are some brilliant platforms available. Check out our top 3 below.

  • MIND – They’re fighting for mental health. For support. For respect. For you.
  • MANUP? – They’re changing people’s opinions on men and mental health.
  • NHS – They offer different options for treatment and advice.

Check out our socials for more about what we do at Wild at Heart Foundation.


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