Although it may seem that to take care of a dog you only need to feed it well and take it to its veterinary check-ups, the reality is that dogs also need mental stimulation. This is the equivalent of preventing your dog from getting bored. In fact, mental stimulation is fundamental to your dog’s development.
Specialists assure that as important as the physical needs of your canine pet is to cover its mental needs. Even mental exercises are capable of making your dog even more tired than with physical exercise.
On the other hand, many destructive pet behaviors can be eliminated simply by mental stimulation. That is, avoid your dog’s boredom by providing activities that make him develop his intelligence.
Preventing boredom in your dog
Try these ways to keep your dog from getting bored:
- Play hide-and-seek. Hide and then call your puppy to look for you. This will stimulate their critical thinking and also their sense of smell.
- Play Find it. The dynamics of this game involve hiding toys or treats. Then let him smell your hand, where the scent of what you hid should be, and give him the command to look for it. While understanding the game, you can hide the treats in obvious places and then make it progressively more difficult.
- Olfactory walks. Take your dog on walks where he can explore and take his time to sniff everything he wants. It is proven that sniffing releases dopamines, so your dog will feel happy.
- New routes. Trying new routes can be very stimulating for your dog. They will see and smell new things.
- Dispersed feeding. Take portions of your pet’s dry food and hide them around the house. Then release it and let it forage for food. This will require stimulating mental work.
- Rotate toys. Dogs are very fond of toys. But, like children, they can become boring after a while. As a strategy, try putting his toys away and rotating them from time to time. This will make them more innovative.
Advantages of mental stimulation
Stimulating your dog’s mind and intelligence has many advantages. Among them:
- Improve your mental health
- Improves cognitive function
- Builds trust
- Relieves stress
- Eliminates destructive behaviors
- Decreases hyperactivity
- Improves brain development in puppies
- Strengthens ties
Signs that your dog is bored
There are some signs your dog will give you to show you that he is bored. For example:
- Chasing each other’s tails
- Excessive barking
- Walking back and forth
- Compulsive digging and hole digging
- Chewing furniture and household objects
- Garbage disposal
- Showing overexcitement when you get home
- Whining for attention
- Excessive licking
- Fighting with other pets
Certainly some of these behaviors may also be related to stress or separation anxiety or loneliness. You can consult your veterinarian to help you determine the causes of your dog’s behavior. You can also consult an expert in animal behavior.
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