Dogs need physical and mental stimulation. Unfortunately, many pet owners often tend to focus on offering their dog exercise and disregard providing their pet with much-needed mental stimulation.
Dogs that lack mental stimulation are sure to get bored and find ways to “amuse themselves” with bad habits, such as barking, whining, tail chasing, chewing on things other than dog toys, and digging holes in the garden or worse. , your favorite rug.
Like humans who give their little ones mental stimulation from an early age, puppies must also be mentally stimulated. And as your puppy grows, mental stimulation should remain a constant component of your dog’s life.
There are numerous ways to mentally stimulate your dog, most of which are inexpensive. Here are some valuable tips:
Don’t limit yourself to just one course when walking your dog
Walking your dog is excellent exercise for both you and your pet, but it can get boring if you simply repeat the same route every day. Vary your walking route and discover new neighborhoods and change your pace when you can. Go through a park or forest or take a walk by a lake. The scent of various environments will help to mentally stimulate your dog. This also offers your pet something new to look forward to every time they go for a walk.
Make your dog work for treats
Hiding treats for your dog to discover is a wonderful way to mentally stimulate your pet. You can start by having your dog select which of his closed hands is holding the treat. You can then alter it by hiding treats in various parts of your house and then in areas beyond your home, such as your yard or near the border fence.
You can also get creative by building barrier training courses, using sturdy boxes and containers. Hide the treats within the training course and at the end of the program. Finding treats will end up being more fun and a test for your dog.
Organize play dates for your dog
Taking your dog for a walk is an exceptional mental stimulation technique. The various sights and sounds your family pet experiences for the duration of the trip will make the car ride intriguing and very exciting. But seeing other dogs in your good friend’s house will definitely improve your dog’s emotional and psychological state. Go slow when introducing your dog to potential new friends and always keep an eye on them until you are sure they get along well together.
Dogs need physical exercise
Although your dog requires mental stimulation, this does not indicate that you should follow exercises that do not require physical actions from your dog. You still need to have fun with your dog and should take him for a run or a walk. However, running or walking your dog can often get a bit boring. In addition to changing your route, you can ask other members of your household to join you.
Give away interactive toys during play
Dogs love to play with their toys. They like balls and other objects that they can hunt and chase, chew toys, tug of war accessories along with baskets and various boxes. But if you really want to stimulate your furry friend’s brain, you should give him interactive toys, such as those that dispense treats or food. These toys are made of sturdy plastic and you can put kibble inside. If the dog wants to get the food or treat, he must turn the tip of the nose to throw the food.
Rotate your dog’s real or new toys
Like children, dogs can get tired of playing with the same toys every day. Rotate the number of your animal’s toys by changing them occasionally or try giving your dog a new toy every few weeks. This is especially true for dog breeds known for their short attention spans. They get bored quickly and when this happens, he will find ways to have fun and can enjoy devastating behavior.
Bring your dog when you run errands
Bring your dog if you need to go to a close friend’s house or are going to do some grocery shopping. A new scene every now and then is what your dog needs to stimulate his mind and spirits. Just make sure dogs are allowed where you need to go, and never leave your dog in cars and trucks waiting on a really cold or hot day.
Use easy obedience training
It is not necessary to teach your dog complex commands. Teaching your pet the basics such as “sit”, “stay”, “lie down”, “come here” and “shake” would be a great starting point. Teaching your dog these basic commands will undoubtedly give him some good mental stimulation.
Opt for agility training
Agility training provides your dog with a combination of physical and mental stimulation. Create an agility / obstacle training course using sustainable containers, ramps, portable ladders or tunnels. Show your dog the steps to take and reward your dog by hiding treats within the course or by providing treats when the training course is over.
We go to the dog park
Dog parks are great areas to take your little furry friend. They are usually an enclosure in which dogs can run completely free under the guidance of their parents. One word of caution though: your dog may be totally overwhelmed when seeing other unfamiliar dogs and different people at the dog park for the first time. It would certainly be a good suggestion to keep your dog on a leash if this is his first visit to the dog park.