How To Keep Your Dog’s Mind Engaged
You love your dog and he should always be the priority in your life. Dog owners can often feel that their four-legged friend is lacking enrichment when they are at work all day. However, with a little creativity and planning, it’s not hard to find ways to keep your dog’s mind engaged while you’re away from home.
It’s important to keep your dog mentally stimulated in order to prevent bored dog and destructive behavior.
Does dog sit in his lonely kennel all day, waiting for you to come home?
Unfortunately, many don’t get enough mental stimulation so the dogs brains become bored. That is why there are doggy day care centers and dog parks where dogs can interact with other dogs as well as humans.
In addition to these types of places, there are ways that you can keep your canine mind stimulated even when you’re not around.
In the past few years, researchers have found more information about how much human interaction is actually healthy for dogs. They have found that a dog needs time alone in order to relax and digest his meal, but it also matters how much time he is spending with humans. They now suggest that after your dog’s evening meal, you should spend at least 30 – 40 minutes playing with him or giving him some type of toy to play with. I prefer the Kong toys because they are very durable and my dog seems to love them more than other kinds of toys.
When you’re not at home, try leaving your TV on for background noise so your dog is not left alone in silence. Keeping the TV on will help keep his active brain engaged when he has energy that needs a focus or an outlet. Another way that you can be stimulating your dog’s brain when you’re not around is through training.
Average dog owner spends very little time training the dog even the basic commands, though it’s important for a happy and well-adjusted dog. If you teach him a new trick, that requires an active brain and problem solving skills. Training may also help channel some of his energy while he’s alone, which will help him feel like he has less pent up energy.
Dog brain exercises are very important and crucial for your dog. These exercises will make sure that your dog remains healthy, active, and happy throughout his life span.
Dog training is an essential part of ensure the optimum performance of your dog. His training will help in making sure that he remains obedient and loyal to you.
Dog human bond is a very special relationship that is not just for companionship, but also it can sometimes look to us like the dog is actually more concerned about our comfort than his own. The bond is so strong that in some cases human-dog relationships are no less strong than the relationship between humans, and they are even stronger than the bond between siblings.
In a study conducted by professor Daniel Mills of Lincoln University, New Zealand concluded that people who had pet dogs in their homes also had lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are factors that reduce stress. In addition, 62% of the participants said they were more likely to talk about psychological problems with their dogs rather than with friends or family.
Dog human partnership is a truly special relationship. It’s also one that should be nurtured and maintained.
Interactive and Puzzle Toys for dogs keep them stimulated
Challenging mental stimulation is a must if you are a pet owner. Attention seeking behaviour in dogs can be frustrating for all concerned, but it is especially distressing when your dog becomes destructive out of boredom or frustration.
“Puzzle toys” and “interactive toys” are being increasingly seen on the market today and many of these products claim to keep your dog busy and distracted from attention seeking behaviour.
Which are the best dog toys for keeping your dog’s mind engaged?
If you want to keep your dog’s mind stimulated, i.e. give them something fun and interesting to do instead of being destructive or attention seeking, then puzzle toys should be a part of your regular routine. The best interactive and puzzle toys for dogs will include some form of treat dispensing feature that allows you time to remove yourself from the room while they work away at getting their reward. Here are some examples:
A Kong is an extremely popular toy that many people use as a great way to occupy their dogs while they’re home alone during the day. You could also fill it with peanut butter or treats suitable for freezing in hot weather before giving it your dog to keep them busy for up to an hour.
The Buster Cube is another great option that redirects your dog’s attention from you and their environment to the cube itself. It features several holes allowing access to a ball inside, which will dispense treats as your dog rolls and nudges it around.
You could also try a treat dispensing toy like the Galileo Hold’n Train which allows you train your dog through hands off reward based training – as they push and play with the toy, treats fall out for them take. The harder they push, the more they get from this challenging puzzle!
There are many other options available depending on what kind of distraction your pet requires.
On the days where my schedule allows me to be at home all day with my dog, I try to find ways for us both to keep our brains engaged. When I’m able to take care of errands in the morning or early afternoon so I can stay home with Duke in the afternoon instead of going into work than we both benefit.
First he gets all of her doggy socialization needs fulfilled because he goes on walks with other dogs and plays at doggy day care, and then he gets the human attention that he needs when I come home.
We have many toys that require him to use his brain to solve puzzles or keep track of multiple pieces of a puzzle (for example, Kongs). In addition to this type of mental stimulation, we also go on daily walks where we can add more physical activity into our routine. His favorite game is playing with the ball especially when we hide it and he has to find it.
My husband and I have tried different things over the years for keeping Duke stimulated while he was alone during the work day; some worked better than others. The best thing we’ve learned is to keep things interesting and always change the routine. We have a TV on for background noise, we buy new toys so that he has something different to do throughout the day, and we give him more exercise when we can.
One last piece of advice I can offer from personal experience is to pay attention to your dog’s behavior . When you’re home alone with him, notice what he likes to do when he’s not eating or sleeping (for example, does he like walks without other dogs around?). Then plan your work day around his life rather than trying to force him into your routine!
It’s never too late – or too early – begin keeping your dog’s mind engaged.
What types of activities help stimulate your dog’s mind? Please share your tips and tricks for keeping a dog’s brain engaged in the comments!
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