We want the best for our dogs and challenging their minds can help them grow and thrive – living fully rather than simply “surviving.” Dogs have complex minds and often get bored of monotonous routines (wouldn’t you?). Mixing up or introducing new concepts and environments will ensure your dog has a happy, fruitful life – enriching his or her mind with newfound knowledge.
Teach your pup a new trick
Disregard what you’ve heard… because you can teach an old dog new tricks! Teaching your dog a something new facilitates mental stimulation. Whether it’s a simple command or an elaborate routine, allowing your dog to actively engage in new movements is beneficial to their mental flexibility and attention. Plus, your pooch will love the treats and praise.
Introduce your dog to new people and pets
Allowing your dog to mingle with other people and pets teaches them to socialize and explore new behaviors regarding interaction. Taking your dog on a jog with your friend or visiting a dog park is perfect for an ample amount of stimuli, both socially and environmentally. Dogs love to explore the great outdoors – and it’s even better with another furry (or human) friend! Also, if you truly want to start exploring the world with your dog in a fun and exciting way, check out the Pet Rover pet stroller.
Play with their senses
That nose on your dog is incredible. There is no mistaking that a dog’s sense of smell is a profound quality within their species, and allowing your dog to experience new senses can only sharpen them. Dogs love going on walks, specifically because they get to use their senses, so try to mix up your routine by visiting new places. For example, if you frequently venture around water, try finding a hiking trail so your pup can experience new smells of various trees, plants, animals and insects. Dogs are curious animals who love to play with their environment. So, allowing your dog to experience an abundance of smells and sounds will get their minds rolling!
Come up with exciting games – beyond “fetch”
Let’s face it – our dogs are our fur-children. And much like children, they love to play. Dogs are also super intelligent and capable animals, and giving them mentally challenging games only serves to make their noggins smarter! Be active with your pup and engage with him or her frequently – beyond the same old, same old “fetch” routine. Some examples include a treasure hunt, hide-and-go-seek, bubbles, memory games and more.
Give them tasks
When we’re bored, we often get restless and there is no doubt your dog does too! Giving your pup simple tasks like getting the mail, helping carrying small grocery items, or even reminding you when a timer goes off keeps them alert, focused, and active. You may want to start off small and then depending on the progress your dog makes, go on to bigger tasks. Just make sure these tasks are attainable, stress-free and won’t put any added stress on your dog.
Remember, your dog is more than a pet – he or she is a member of your family. Make sure your fur-baby stays active and happy by playing often, trying new tricks and exploring the outside world.