Providing Mental Stimulation for Your Dog’s Happiness and Well-Being

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Contribution from freelance writer Sally Writes

Adorable dog.

Boredom caused by a lack of stimulation not only creates an unhappy pet, but it can also cause your dog’s brain to shrink. Prompted by distress, this may lead to your dog exhibiting destructive behavior or simply appearing lethargic. We all want what’s best for our pets, and providing plenty of stimulation for your dog should be seen, not simply as an indulgence, but essential to their happiness and health. With just a few simple changes or additions to your dog’s routine, you can provide a stimulating environment that will stop your dog getting bored and anxious.

A Range of Stimulating Toys

For keeping dogs mentally stimulated, toys should be seen as a necessity. This is especially true if you have to leave your dog alone for any period of time. Toys are vital for their well-being, by providing entertainment, distraction and comfort throughout the day. Dogs quickly get fed up with the same toys, so it’s a good idea to routinely rotate and update them to keep your dog stimulated. A regular subscription box is a convenient way to introduce innovative and unusual accessories to your dog. When your dog has a good mix of durable chew toys, interactive games and challenging treat dispensers to choose from, they dog will be happily entertained and stimulated.

A Change to the Routine

Although most dogs enjoy a steady and regular routine, especially those who are particularly vulnerable or anxious, small changes can be exciting and create moments of interest in their day. Try some simple obedience training for a few moments each day in order give your dog a mental workout. Make sure they know how to sit and stay, and teach them when to pick up or leave an object. At the same time as keeping them busy and engaged, you’ll be improving their behavior and teaching them new tricks. As a reward, and to keep them mentally alert, you can hide treats for your dog in interactive toys, or around the garden for them to find.

A New Outdoor Adventure

Even if you have scheduled, regular times for walks and exercise, simply taking a different route can expose your dog to interesting and unusual surroundings, sounds and scents. Your dog’s sense of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than yours, and when they stop to sniff, they are busy acquiring and processing information, often from traces of pheromones from other animals. This means it’s important to give your dog plenty of time to explore stimulating scents in order to make the most out of even a short walk. Meeting other people and their dogs in the park can also be stimulating for a sociable dog. As well as encouraging good physical exercise, playing with other dogs of a similar nature is a fun distraction, and a great way for your dog to let off steam.

As well as physical exercise, dogs need mental stimulation to keep them happy and to prevent undesirable behavior. By mixing up their routine, encouraging them to work for treats, and rewarding them with a selection of interesting and engaging toys, you can be assured that your dog is happily entertained and living a fulfilling life.

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