Keep Your Dog Mentally Stimulated With These Fun Activities
From getting up early in the morning for work to coming home late at night, majority of dog owners rely on a second or even third person to look after their dog. Even if your dog goes on 1 or 2 walks a day and receives plenty of love and affection, rarely is that enough. For the times you are home or for those who are responsible for your dog, here are some everyday activities you can do to stimulate your dog mentally.
I usually feed my dog (turbo), once in the morning and once at night with a variety of snacks in between. Change things up by stuffing the dog food in a Kong Toy which can hold a set amount of food. In order for your dog to get his desired meal, he will have to struggle and work for it, a simple but effective way to keep him stimulated. A fun game i play with turbo that involves his favorite snacks is i let him smell the snack by placing it near his nose, then i enter my room and hide the snack. I open the door and almost immediately he is rushes in and begins to smell and look around. The more pungent the smell of the snack, the better. You can also hid various treats around the house and let his nose and mind do the rest.
The walk is probably the most important time you spend with your dog. No amount of love and affection will replace the strong bond of trust and friendship you will build while walking your dog. As a bonus, your dog's pent of energy may be spent and you can return with a calmer, more relaxed dog (hopefully). A few times during the walk, you should allow your dog to sniff around and explore. This is a dogs way understand the world around him and become comfortable with his surroundings. I usually do this at night so that i can avoid the distractions of cars and other people walking around. You can bring a leash with a length of 10-15 feet and let him explore while you follow close by or just let the dog explore on his own without the leash. If you do let your dog off the leash just be 100% confident you can control him when needed.
School is in Session
Teaching your dog a new command or brushing up on previously taught commands is another great way to exhaust your dog mentally. The training session should last anywhere between 10-15 minutes with a few quick breaks in between. Even a short session can be quite stimulating, besides, your dog will get bored if it goes on any longer. Learning new commands is where your dog will really have to focus and use up his mental energy, so take advantage while you can.
Try Something New
Lastly, The greatest tool at your disposal is your creativity and imagination. Don't be limited by this list or any list you read online, if you have an idea you think you dog will enjoy, try it out. Worst case it didn't work, best case you found yourself a new game to bond over with your dog. But if your imagination has failed you in the past, here is one more game you can play with your dog. Tie a relatively light toy to an end of a piece of rope and dangle the toy over your dogs head or drag it around the floor. Let your dog chase the toy while occasionally letting him get it. Retrieve the toy/string combo and repeat.
Majority of the time our dogs are laying around in a far off corner, but it is precisely during these times our dogs may feel bored or frustrated. With these Simple yet effective solutions your dog can feel happy and healthy and at the same time mentally satisfied. A little goes a long way and your dog will thank you for it.