Keeping your dog stimulated is a key part of being a caring and responsible owner. If a dog is bored or lethargic then it can lead to destructive, disobedient or hyperactive behaviour. The saying goes that a tired dog is a happy dog, and whilst this is most definitely true, it is important to remember that there are many other ways to keep a dog stimulated in addition to physical exercise. Here are our five top tips to help keep your dog’s mind stimulated.
Dogs by their very nature are animals that like to scavenge; if canines were left to their own devices then they would quite happily look around for food on their own. You can utilise this aspect of their instinctive behaviour by creating little games for them to find healthy treats around the house when you can’t be there. This will not only discourage negative behaviour but will also keep their mind active and their cognitive process fresh.Bear in mind that if a dog has not eaten at all then they may not enjoy having to look too hard for any treats, so make sure that they have had a normal meal before using this technique and leaving them to explore.
If your dog loves to dig holes in your garden, or unearth your favourite plants or flowers, then why not give them their own special area to dig in and explore. A great way to do this can be to build them their own sand or earth pit where you can hide treats or toys, providing lots of digging fun.
The Great Outdoors
Dogs absolutely love to explore and use their keen sense of smell. When taking your dog out for a walk, try to find them a place where they can roam free for a little while. This will allow them to sniff and enjoy the vast array of scents. If your dog is fine around other dogs then let them say hello to allow them to use their communicative skills. The use of these skills will use your dog’s cognitive functions, keeping them happy and contented.
Chew Chew Chew
Give your dog plenty of things to chew to help keep their teeth clean and boredom at bay. There are plenty of chew toys designed specifically for this purpose such as dental chews, synthetic bones, pigs’ ears, etc that you can give to your dog for hours of fun and stimulation. If your dog has a habit of chewing stuff they’re not supposed to, then try and teach them to chew one of these products.
Extra Activities with Your Dog
Why not go one step further to keep your dog stimulated by taking part in organised club activities. Such activities include Agility, Field Trials, Flyball, heelwork to music and obedience training; these are all great not just for your dog’s cognitive function and learning process, but also for you both to meet new dogs and dog owners.