What a Puppy Can Teach You About Happiness

Bailey the Dog and Lewis

People revere the great saints and sages throughout history for their wisdom on love, life and matters of happiness. But they don’t come close to dogs.

There’s something very guru-like about pooches. These four-legged animals are more than just pets. They’re almost like guides on how to live the best life possible. They know exactly how to be at any given time and can effortlessly react to life’s circumstances.

Puppies and young dogs are even more remarkable. You don’t need to say any mantras about “seeing the bright side of life”- they do all that for you.

So what can you learn from a puppy about happiness and the meaning of life? Let’s take a look.

Live In The Moment

Living in the moment is a bit of a funny thing to say. People can only live right now.

But many of us have a habit of thinking about the past and future, and that takes us away from what life’s like right now.

Puppies don’t have this problem. Their lives only happen in the present. They aren’t worried about their annual review next week or the kids’ dental appointments. They’re just reacting to the world as it comes to them. They don’t have any expectations about the future.

Accept Praise

Have you ever seen a puppy shy away from praise? It will never happen. They love it when you celebrate them and their achievements. They feel proud of their doggy nature.

As people, though, we can sometimes struggle to see the good in ourselves. We do ourselves down all the time, and many of us unconsciously believe that we’re not worthy of praise or adulation.

That’s got to stop. Just because someone tells you that you’re great, doesn’t mean you need to shy away. You can accept it and get in with life, just like puppies do, without developing a big head.

Don’t Go It Alone

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Life is a tremendously complicated and challenging experience. And while most things happen automatically, there are still a few uphill struggles to deal with: making money, raising a family and doing something worthwhile. It’s all challenging.

Puppies, though, don’t try to go it alone. While they don’t face the same kind of problems as people, they seem to know that a problem shared is a problem halved.

Pups love spending time with family. They cherish the group, even if they sometimes take time for themselves.

Love Can Be Unconditional

People attach a host of conditions to love. But dogs don’t do that at all. They’re happy to be around you even if you’re an appalling human being.

Loving unconditionally is an act of letting go, something that puppies seem to do quite well. They’re not trying to cling to anything in life. Rather, they’re just letting it take its course and see where it goes.

Forgive And Forget

Forgiving people is one thing, but forgetting what they did is quite another. Many people live in studio apartments by themselves for years, begrudging the people in their lives who let them down. They think about the harm that was done to them repeatedly, believing that it will harm the object of their anger but discovering that it only hurts them.

Dogs don’t go in for all this. They don’t hold grudges. If reality takes a different direction from that which they want to go in, it’s okay. It’s no big deal for them.

Have you ever seen a dog holding a grudge? It doesn’t happen. Their egos simply aren’t developed enough. They even get along with cats most of the time. Now that’s really saying something.

Change With The Times

Puppies can also teach you how to change with the times. Unlike people, they are far less prone to getting stuck in a rut and doing the same things every day. They don’t live life like a formula. And they don’t hold onto certain beliefs. Instead, they just accept the circumstances as they present themselves and move on, it’s in their nature.

As people, though, we can struggle to get out of the past. We revisit past situations with a sense of nostalgia and want them to continue into the present. We have a habit of believing that life should always stay the same when the only real constant is change.

Dogs tend to thrive as their circumstances adjust as they get older. But, as people, we can struggle. Sometimes, it’s too much, too soon.

Get Your Exercise In

Puppies can also teach you the value of physical activity. They’re constantly on the move, doing new things, running about the house or in the garden if they are a little older.

Imagine what would happen to your body if you followed their lead. You’d be constantly on the move, hopping, skipping and jumping around.

Unfortunately, the reality of life is quite different for most of us. We spend most of our time either working or watching television. It’s not ideal.

Try being a bit more active. Feel the energy pulsing through your body like a child does.

Enjoy Challenges

Like children, puppies love and enjoy challenges. If they can’t do something, they’ll persevere until they get the hang of it. Eventually, they’ll master what it is they want to achieve and take it forward with them in their lives.

As adults, though, we have a tendency to get impatient. We don’t like it when things won’t go our way and become frustrated. And that can lead to a profound sense of unhappiness in our lives.

Make Time For Hugs And Snuggles

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Puppies love a good hug. It makes them feel good, so they do it as much as they can. And that’s not withstanding the fact that they don’t have arms as we do. For them, hugs are actually quite biomechanically challenging.

Hugs are critical for feeling good for both humans and other mammals. They release all sorts of feel-good hormones and put you at ease. They can actually make you feel more loved and cherished.

Play Every Day

If you work at anything in life, you’re making a mistake. Puppies from LuckyLabs never really work at all. For them, everything is a matter of having fun.

Unfortunately, as adults, we believe that we need to work hard. Our lives become difficult and mentally straining. We long for a life of playfulness but don’t seem to be able to achieve it.

The issue here is one of attitude. As puppies prove, you can turn virtually any situation into play. It’s just that most of us don’t take that perspective. We see our work or commitments as something that we just need to “power through.”

But, ironically, it’s that approach that makes our lives worse. We imagine that there will be some future time when we can finally play instead of enjoying ourselves right now. We’re constantly longing for something that never really arrives.

Playing everyday is something that we should all strive to do. We should look for opportunities, even when life seems overwhelmingly boring.

People who play at work, for instance, tend to be better than their peers. People respect them for their attitude and enjoy being around them. It’s just more fun that way.


Puppies are like miniature gurus and all of us can learn from their unique and interesting ways. While they are mostly sleepy and chilled out when they are young, as they get older, they really grow into life. You can see their fascinating spirits developing as they grapple with the world and enjoy its challenges.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Helen, Nial, Lewis and Mason


Welcome to Pikalily, an award-winning food, travel and lifestyle blog. We are Nial and Helen, a happily married couple from Northern Ireland, who share a passion for food and travel among many things. We became parents to our beautiful boy Lewis in 2017. Follow our adventures through the blog.

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