health, Learn, training

Bored Dogs? Use Mental Stimulation

Most pet parents know that physical exercise is vital for their dog’s health and wellbeing. But did you know that mental stimulation is just as important for a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted dogs? Have you noticed your bored dogs being destructive?

Dog is bored inside house and decides to chew on the couch.
“I just know there’s crumbs in here somewhere!”

Keeping your dog’s mind active is a great way to relieve negative emotions like stress, anxiety, and boredom. It can also help prevent behavioral problems, including barking and destructive chewing.

Looking for some fun and engaging ways to keep your pup’s mind active? In this article, I’ll share 8 ways to challenge your dog’s mind.

1) Provide Interactive Toys Made for Dogs

Interactive treat dispenser that dogs have to figure out how to get the treat by pushing buttons.

Providing interactive toys is a great way to challenge your dog’s mind and keep them mentally stimulated. Some of the most popular types of toys include interactive chew toys and puzzle feeders that can be stuffed with treats. Dogs also enjoy toys of different textures, colors, shapes, sizes, and smells to stimulate their senses and keep things interesting.

2) Teach a New Trick to Dogs

Woman training her dog to shake with their paw.

Despite what you may have heard, old dogs CAN learn new tricks! In fact, learning new tricks is a fantastic way for dogs of all ages to stay mentally active. Looking for some simple tricks to teach your four-legged friend? Look at these other articles I give instructions on.

Train how to “Sit”

Train how to “Stay”, “Come”, and “Go to Place”

3) Keep Walks Interesting

Woman taking her dog walking through a forest trail.

Dogs love exploring the great outdoors, and a regular walking routine can keep them physically fit and healthy. The sights, scents, and sounds they encounter on their walks also help stimulate them mentally and prevent boredom that can lead to unwanted behaviors. Provide some variety by walking your dog in different environments and changing the pace and duration of walks to keep things interesting.

4) Organize a Playdate for Dogs

Dogs have a playdate and running with a stick in both their mouths.

Introducing your dog to other dogs is one of the best ways to keep them mentally active and enhance their quality of life. We recommend starting off slowly by introducing your dog to just one or two other dogs. It’s also important to supervise your dog carefully until they’re properly socialized around people and other animals.

5) Play Hide-and-Seek With Dogs

Playing Hide and Seek with the Dogs

A classic game of hide-and-seek is great fun for you and your pup! Tell your dog to “sit” and “stay” then find a hiding place in your home. Next, call your dog’s name and wait for them to sniff you out. Most dogs will enjoy the excitement of tracking you down. It’s also good exercise for their mind and body.

6) Build an Obstacle Course for Dogs

Home made obstacle course for dogs.

Building an obstacle course in your home or yard is an entertaining way to challenge your dog’s mind and teach them basic agility training. Household items like chairs and broomsticks can be used to make a simple course. Extra equipment like tunnels and hurdles can also be purchased from pet supply stores.

7) Practice Obedience Training With Your Dogs

Dog is learning to shake with their paw.

Teaching your dog basic commands can help prevent behavioral problems and keep them safe. Obedience training also stimulates your dog’s mind and strengthens the bond between you and your four-legged friend. Start by teaching your dog the 5 basic commands: sit, stay, lay down, come, and heel.

8) Give Your Dogs Something to Chew On

Frankie with a rawhide chew that he loved.

Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs. It’s great for relieving stress and anxiety, and keeps them mentally and physically stimulated. Choose a high-quality commercial chew toy or a raw bone about the size of your dog’s head. Always supervise your dog while they’re chewing, and never give cooked bones as they can splinter and break.

Playing with Frankie with a rope toy.

I hope you discovered some fun new ways to challenge your dog’s mind! Keeping your pup healthy doesn’t need to be difficult. Just provide plenty of mental and physical exercise.

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