Keeping your dog mentally stimulated throughout the day is key. It helps to burn off excess energy.
Just how physical exercise is important to maintain a healthy body and weight for your dog, mental stimulation is equally if not more necessary.
Research has shown a steady correlation between the lack of stimulation of different sensory receptors in the brain leads dog’s to face mental illness such as severe anxiety and even depression.
Hence as a pet parent you need to keep them engaged, just a walk around the neighborhood, will not cut it.
Mental stimulation can be brought about in a number of ways, there are plenty of toys in the market tailored to make dog’s think and problem solve. Puzzle toy’s are a great way to mentally stimulate your dog.
Games such as fetch, tug-o-war is extremely fun for your pet, engages them mentally, and even helps them further their bond with you.
Here we list out why mental stimulation is needed for our pets..
1. Lowers stress levels – Dog’s with a high prey drive are constantly on the watch and on the lookout. To lower their stress levels engaging them in challenging tasks, games, and obstacles are what make them feel mentally stimulated and lowers their levels of stress.
Dog’s such as Golden Retrievers, Terriers, Greyhounds, Huskies, Cocker Spaniels whom have a high prey drive amongst others need to be shown the way to tackle the excess pent up energy, the way to do this is through regular mental stimulation.
2. Lessens Hyperactivity- If your young puppy or adult dog is left alone for long periods of time alone at home, they can tend to get agitated, angry, and even bored. Due to this reason keeping them engaged with some sort of challenging chew toy or puzzle box is the way to go.
Dog’s can spend hours trying to figure new things out once they set their mind to it. Their curiosity and drive to tackle the game at hand is what will keep them constantly motivated and engaged.
Mentally engaging them this way lessens their hyperactivity and keeps them calm and collected when you return.
3. Lowers Aggressive Behaviour- Dog’s that display a high propensity to show agressive behaviour, greatly benefit from mental stimulation. It keeps them distracted from outside factors and channels their brain to take out their stress in another way, and not through humans and young children.
4.Alleviates boredom and keeps your pooch happy- Ultimately all of us want our dog’s to be happy and healthy, that is are utmost priority as pet parents and lovers of dog’s.
Hence we must make sure that we keep our pooch as mentally stimulated as possible for a calm and happy demeanor. A calm dog is always a happy dog.
Always look out for toys and games that are challenging. Hiding things around the house with treats is also a good way to keep them engaged. If your puppy or adult dog is in a crate, try moving it into the living room with the TV on. Some dog’s are even engaged by sounds, colors, and new visuals.
Keeping things light and interesting, and constantly coming up with new engaging activities for your pet, not only sharpens their brain and keeps them focused and alert, it also strengthens the bond between pet parent and dog.
They will always associate mental stimulating games and activities as a fun experience that they look forward to over time.
There are plenty of ways you can make mental stimulation for your pet fun, without it having to be a task.
The key takeaway is to make sure that you are providing them with enough mental stimulation as you do with their physical exercise. It’s all about balance.