Your dog’s mental well-being is equally as important as their physical health. Keeping them mentally active is critical to avoid premature aging and stave off potential cognitive dysfunctions, it also contributes to a level of happiness. Not sure how to introduce more mentally stimulating activities? Here are 5 to kick you off!
Playing with their sense of smell is always a good way to keep dogs mentally active when you’re not at home. You have the choice to hide someGrandma Lucy's treats around the house, leave them with an interactiveZippyPaws Toy, or both! This exercises them mentally AND physically as they play sherlock holmes to find the hidden treats.
Walks should be an essential part of your dog’s daily routine as a means to keep them mentally stimulated on multiple levels. For one, it keeps them curious about their surroundings from observing and sniffing their surroundings. They also get to interact with other dogs and humans which is a good time to practise their social skills! Outside of their daily walks, take them on errand runs with you - let them explore new places while forging a stronger bond with you in their trustyFreedom harness!
Set a timer and leave your TV on an animal channel for your dog to watch! This is a great way to provide entertainment as there is constant movement on the screen to keep them occupied - though enjoyment levels may vary from dog to dog. If TV is not their thing, try leaving some music on in the background and leave them to enjoy in theirFuzzyard bed - your dog might be more musically inclined than you think!
Playtime + training time
Combine playtime and a training session occasionally to keep his mind working while injecting some fun. This is a good opportunity to revise old commands and learn new ones as well. During standalone playtimes, a fun tug-of-war sesh with aKONG tug toy or a game of fetch allows for mental engagement and bonding with your pup.
Game of luck
The shell game, as the internet calls it, is a game where you place 3 identical opaque cups in front of your dog with anAbsolute Holistic treat hidden under one of them. Shuffle them around and see if your pup can sniff out the right one. This goes beyond basic training tricks, allowing them to work on their problem solving skills!
Kim is an avid dog lover, serial guac and chips eater, and thrill seeker - all in one body. Currently chillin’ with her dogs.