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How to keep your dog mentally stimulated

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How to keep your dog mentally stimulated

When it comes to keeping your dog happy, mental stimulation is important and contributes to the overall wellbeing of your dog.

You can help to keep your dog’s mind active to avoid them becoming bored in many ways. Keep reading our article to find out more.

What is Mental Stimulation for your dog?

Mental stimulation for your dog is where you exercise their mind and brain through games and challenges to help improve concentration and memory.

Challenging your dog can help to prevent boredom and keep them happy. It can also help if you start at a young age to help their brain develop when they are a puppy.











It not only helps their brain develop, but best of all, helps you to form a better bond or relationship with your puppy or dog.

Brain stimulation can take many forms such as:

  1. Daily exercise: one of the best ways to increase your dog’s mental stimulation is to exercise them each day through walks or hikes. When they are outside, allow them to sniff and explore. When your pup uses their nose and finds a new scent, they are getting a mental workout. Always be careful when out exploring of wildlife and do not let your dog chase ducks, geese or swans.
  2. New adventures: try taking your dog to a new place or different location for added stimulation.
  3. Hide and seek: hiding treats and your dog’s favourite toys is a fun way to boost their brain. You can also reinforce simple commands such as ‘wait’ or ‘find.’
  4. Tricks and commands: help your dog to learn something new and help expand their mental capacity. Simple tricks such as, roll over, sit or paw can be effective at providing mental stimulation and can be taught at any age.
  5. Obstacle course: create an obstacle course with jumps and hoops for them to run around. The course can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be and can be made from chairs, pillows or blankets or you can buy ready-made obstacles online. Create tunnels from blankets and chairs to crawl through.
  6. Train your puppy or dog: taking the time to train your dog can help build a stronger bond between you. Just remember that the amount of exercise your dog or puppy should have depends on their age, size and breed.
  7. Socialising: just like humans, dogs love to interact and make new friends. Doggy day care can help them explore connections with other dogs. Socialisation from a young age is an important life skill that ensures your dog is confident, relaxed, and happy in their environment, as well as being able to communicate effectively in their social network.
  8. Puzzle feeders: using a puzzle feeder can help improve memory and problem-solving skills. They challenge your dog to work out how to successfully get the food. It will help to keep them entertained and may help to stop them from eating too quickly.
  9. Interactive dog toys: keep your dog’s brain active and get them to work for their foot by filling a Kong toy with their favourite treats.
  10. Book a play date: does your friend or neighbour have a puppy or dog? Get together, visit the park, and socialise your dog at the same time. Enjoying nature and getting some exercise can benefit both you and your pup.

We hope you and your dog or puppy can make use of the above ideas.

You know your pet the best and some of the activities may be suited better depending on your dog’s age, personality and if they have any heath conditions.

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By Melissa Pickburn

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