We know how important it is to take care of our mental health. But did you know that the same thing applies to your little furbaby also?
Yes, providing your dog with mental stimulation is as important as physical stimulation. No matter your pup is a purebred or mix, keeping his mind occupied is really important.
Else, he may develop destructive behaviors, which won't be a good thing for you and your house.
Just like humans, dogs also get bored, especially when you leave him alone in the house and go out for work.
So, teasing his brain or exposing him constantly to new things is as essential as taking him for a walk. I have seen many pet parents often neglect the mental-health-care part.
Hence, their dogs constantly find different ways to amuse themselves and discard the boredom.
My spitz, Leo, used to bark excessively without any reason, along with whining, chewing things which he is not allowed to, tail chasing, followed by digging holes in my yard.
Then my vet suggested giving him enough mental exercises. Guess what? Only after one month, Leo's behavior changed noticeably.
That's why I'm here to share a handful of mental stimulation for dogs for the pet parents who are dealing with a similar situation like me. So, scroll down and have a look.
How to Mentally Stimulate a Dog?
A plethora of mental exercises for dogs are there, but you need to choose the most effective ones.
Just like a child need mental stimulation in early life, your puppy also needs the same. As your pup grows, the mental stimulants should remain consistent, like physical exercises.
However, I have picked the 5 best mental exercises for dogs that won't involve any expenses or your too much time, yet be effective. So, if you were searching for how to mentally stimulate a dog, here is your answer.
Add Different Routes into Daily-Walk Routine
Of course, daily walking is indeed a good exercise for you and your pup. But, all the fun may get faded if you just stick to walk through the same route every day.
Yes, it will be utter boredom for your pup to see all those same houses, same ground, same trees, or lake may be, every day.
So, change your route after one or two days and introduce your dog to all new neighborhoods. The smell of different surroundings will stimulate your dog mentally.
If possible, introduce him to different animals like birds, cats, or even a squirrel. Once you make new approaches every day, your pup will have something new to get excited while going out.
Make Your Dog Work for Treats, No Freebies
Does your dog love to have treats? If yes, then you can use treats to keep him occupied as it is a good mental exercise for dogs.
What you need to do is, hide the treats and make your fur-boy work for it. Initially, you can just hide gifts within your closed fists and ask him to choose the one hand with the hidden gift.
Along with that, you can make good use of your craftsmen’s spirit and prepare a treasure hunt for your dog.
Just take different containers and boxes, hide gifts within those and, tie those with a rope following which your pup will reach the treat.
You can add obstacles and difficulties, which will push his intellect and make him strive to get the gift. In this way, finding the gift will be more challenging and fun for him.
The best way to use this mental stimulation is when you stay outside. If you arrange a treasure hunt before leaving home, your pup will be occupied throughout the day, so no place for boredom.
Arrange Play Dates to Make Your Dog Socialize
Is your dog a social butterfly? If yes, then arranging play dates for him is a great idea. You can take him in a ride, though, where he can explore different surroundings throughout the day.
Plus, the ride will be a great mental stimulation for your dog. If you have friends who are also pet owners, ask them to bring their dogs also and arrange a play date for all furbabies.
Seeing other dogs will boot your pup’s mental and emotional state. But you have to go slow while introducing him to your friends' dogs.
Because they are going to be potential friends of your pup, so any banter during introduction will only make things worst.
Along with that, make sure your friends' dogs are updated on vaccinations and deworming treatments. Else, your dog may get hurt.Add Interactive Toys within Your Dog's Toy Bucket
All most all types of dogs love playing with toys. It comes under their natural instinct. However, you may already have a toy bucket full of balls, frisbees, chews, or tugs; but do you have interactive toys?
If no, then consider adding some like dogs food dispenser toys. These toys are made of hard plastic and constantly interacts with your pup by popping food.
Using such toys will mentally stimulate your dog. Whatever your dog wants, you can put inside the toy instead of food.
If you already have interactive toys, try to rotate those at 3 or 4 days of interval. Playing with the same old toys each day will make your dog bored only. So, rotating the toys is an important thing to keep his mind occupied.
Simple Obedience Training Is a Must
Try to teach your pup the basic manners. Don't use complex commands. Instead, use simple words like "sit," "lay down," "stop," "shake," "come here," etc.
These words will stimulate his mind. Along with that, your pup will understand your language, which will help make a good bond between you two. Spend a few minutes each day until it becomes a habit to him.
That's all! I have shared the best mental simulations for dogs. Now it's your turn to give these a try and let me know which one worked for you in the below box. Stay connected for more pet-guides. Happy petting!