Nearly every pet parent knows that dogs need plenty of exercise to keep them physically active and moving - but did you know mental exercise for dogs is just as important? Dog IQ toys and brain games for dogs might not seem like something your pup really needs, but in truth, mental exercise comes with a whole host of benefits.
Let’s take a look at 5 of the biggest reasons to get your dog some dog brain teaser toys this summer break!🐰
#1 Chase Boredom Away
No one likes staying home with nothing to do, so when we’re bored we often gravitate toward mentally stimulating games like crossword puzzles, or even a game of Candy Crush. Dogs aren’t too dissimilar as boredom can creep into their daily lives just as easily as with us, if not more!
In fact, pups that are feeling a little bored might find some destructive ways to amuse themselves - this can include anything from destroying furniture, rifling through trash or just barking way too much.
Instead of chewing up your sofa, consider purchasing one of Pet Qwerk’s great interactive dog toys, like their Talking Babble Balls that make over 20 different animal sounds that activate when your pup is playing with the toy. It’ll definitely make your dog’s playtime unique and interesting for a long time.
#2 Expend Energy
Tired dogs are good dogs - or so the saying goes. After a long day of walking or hiking, your dog will probably be more than a little tuckered, and maybe even more well behaved. But physical exercise isn’t the only tool in your pet parent toolbox.
Mental exercise through agility training is a great way to give your pup a good workout. Think about it, math problems and homework can make us feel really tired, even without raising a finger - mental stimulation games for dogs can be just as exhausting, and just as rewarding!
A great way to start obedience training is to get some delicious treats like Stella & Chewy’s great Freeze Dried Carnivore Crunch treats. These scrumptious goodies are sure to get your dog’s attention the next time you want to teach them a new trick.
#3 Keep Them Happy
Outside of helping them burn some energy, mental exercise can also help keep our pups happy and healthy. Studies have shown that dogs that aren’t receiving enough mental stimulation are more likely to suffer from high levels of stress, which could lead to anxiety and depression in serious cases.
For smart and active breeds like German Shepherds, mental dog games coupled with their daily physical activity can help them feel great both in the mind and in the body.
Why not get your pup started with a mental dog game with Outward Hound’s beautiful and mentally challenging Dog Brick Interactive Toy? Made of plastic blocks with plenty of nooks and crannies for delicious treats, the Dog Brick will keep your pup entertained for hours trying to figure out how to slide it open!
#4 Lower Aggression
When your dog is bored, they’ll probably also be a little cranky - and cranky dogs are much more likely to express aggression toward other people or animals. For families with other pets at home or young children, it might be difficult to handle aggressive dogs. While it’s easy to blame the pup’s breed or personality for their behavioural issues, one of the biggest dog training secrets is how important it is to tackle a lack of mental exercise. In fact, it can be a major contributing factor to their negative behavioural tics like aggression.
What’s a better bonding opportunity than a game of fetch or a session of obedience training? Mentally stimulating games often take two players, and that means much greater involvement on our parts.This means we get more opportunities to spend time with our dogs and get to know them better. Plus, these activities might also stimulate you mentally and physically too!
The next time your dog destroys a piece of furniture, whines too much, behaves restlessly, paws for attention or sleeps a little too much, get a rope toy or some delicious treats out for a good session of mental stimulation!
You might even want to invest in a Pawbo+ Wireless Interactive Pet Camera to do regular check ups on your pup’s behaviour while you’re out of the house, to give you an idea of how much mental stimulation they’re getting on the daily.
Tammi writes articles about anything from data analytics to animal health, and loves doing the occasional craft. But most importantly, she loves hanging out and doing photo-shoots with her dog.