How to Mentally Stimulate Your Dog
SPOT Chairman Cesar Millan believes in whole pet health: body, mind, and spirit. Here we take a look at the health of your dog's mind, with a few ideas for how to keep pups mentally stimulated.
In addition to boosting your dog’s health, exercising your dog’s mind means they are less likely to get bored and engage in destructive behaviors.
The Importance of Stimulating Your Dog's Brain
Just as physical exercise is important for your dog's health, mental exercise is important for keeping a balanced dog. If your dog is not mentally stimulated, their boredom or unbalanced energy may lead to destructive tendencies like barking and furniture chewing.
Engaging with your dog's brain also gives you information about how their mind works and where their instincts come into play. It helps you build a better understanding of them and make a stronger connection.
Get Your Dog a Free Pet Insurance Quote
Ideas Engaging Your Dog's Brain
Here are a few ideas that you can incorporate into your day-to-day routine. Not only do you engage your dog's brain, but you may find you get the opportunity to include them in more of your otherwise "mundane" activities.
Teach your dog a new trick.
Have you already taught them Cesar Millan's top five commands? Set those as your foundation, and then look for creative ways to build off of them.
Take your dog along on simple errands.
Need to drop off a package at the post office or heading to visit a friend? Think about what errands your dog could accompany you on to get them out of their normal routine. Bonus, can you find opportunities to work on your commands (stay, come) while you're out and about? If you'll be driving for your outings, make sure you're taking precautions to keep your pet safe in the car.
Introduce them to nice people and dogs.
Creating opportunities for your dog to interact with people and other animals who have good energy helps them balance their energy, too.
Rotate out old toys.
Keep a collection of toys and switch out the ones that are available to your dog, that way they are discovering new things and navigating different items in their time at home.
Change up your walking routine.
Take the same loop every day? Mix it up by walking your path the other direction, taking a right instead of a left, varying where you stop and take sniff breaks. Maybe invite a friend along to join you, keep it interesting for both you and your dog!