Few pet parents give thought to the mental growth and health of their dogs. And so, we’re proud of you for being on the hunt for activities that can challenge your dog’s brain and thinking capabilities. You’re doing it right.
With that said, we’ve compiled a few tried and tested activities to help you out with your goal. Let’s get to it!
Provide puzzle toys
Dogs are curious by nature. They possess a natural urge to explore their surroundings and familiarize themselves with every new thing. It makes them feel comfortable. But if you notice your dog with overwhelming amounts of disinterest. It’s time you pay some attention to their mental health.
You can reignite their naturally curious self by providing them with puzzle toys. These vibrant and challenging toys will keep your dog from falling into depressive and mind-stunting spells.
In case you’re addressing the unnaturally non-inquisitive behavior of your dog too late, there are high chances that the dog will not respond to these toys immediately. So, sit around and indulge in a similar activity. You can try these dog puzzles, while your dog familiarizes yourself with the new object. As it watches you explore and play games on your own, it will be motivated to play a bit with its toy too.
You might have to do it a couple of times before your dog can reestablish its comfort levels with exploration. With that said, do not monitor your dog too closely or too strictly. Give it some room, and privacy.
Enroll in pet sports
Several resources report that dogs need social interaction to stay healthy. And here we refer to social interaction within dogs. When they interact with their pals, the brain’s stimulated positively.
For that very reason, getting your dog enrolled in pet sports, fun shows, or sports groups is a good idea. When they are playing and competing with their friends and mates, they will feel challenged. And that, in turn, will trigger their thinking skills.
Play hide and seek
Hide and seek is a fun game to stimulate the hunting abilities of your dog. It makes them more vigilant and observant.
You can upgrade the difficulty level of the game with each level. Hide your dog’s toys in places that your dog cannot imagine, but leave helpful hints!
Use a puzzle feeder
A puzzle feeder refers to pet feeding tools that require a bit of input from your dog’s end. Your dog will have to manipulate the tool to acquire the food inside. And it will enhance their problem-solving skills.
The feed that’s inside the tool is an excellent motivator for dogs. So make sure you fill it with their favorite food!
Try toy name memory training
According to research, dogs can learn words and understand arithmetic. They are capable of identifying patterns and solving simple problems. They are even capable of retaining the learned material and using it wherever need be.
Henceforth, one of the best ways to challenge your dog’s brain is to rekindle this natural ability. Give names to the toys that your dog plays with and every time it recognizes the toys correctly, reward your dog! It will enhance its memory retention skills.
Shake up your routine
A monotonous routine can dull an active and growth-oriented human mind. The same is true for dogs.
If your dog lives the same day over and over again, it will rebel at first. But then, it will eventually become accustomed to it. It will stunt its mental growth and weaken your dog physically as well because it’s against the dog’s nature. So, every two months, make slight changes in your dog’s routine, such as changing the slot for outdoor slots.
Buy new toys
Well, similar to the routine, you ought to change the objects that your dog sees daily, particularly the toys.
If you’ve provided your dog with an interactive puzzle, it will have fun and mental stimulation for a few months, and then it will become any regular static toy for the dog. So, ensure that you bring in newer interactive toys now and then.
Final thoughts to challenge your dog’s brain
Research suggests that dogs have the same mental processing as that of a two-year-old. Hence, we need to deal with them accordingly. We need to give them ample attention for healthy growth.
Shawn Mack is a content writer who offers ghostwriting, copywriting, and blogging services. His educational background in the business and technical field has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He is also fond of writing engaging articles on technology & digital marketing-related topics.