Pet mental stimulation
Mental Stimulation for Pets
If your dog/cat is bored, you will certainly find out very quickly. Dogs that lack mental stimulation are often badly behaved. Dogs need an outlet for their minds and if they are not provided an appropriate resource, they will come up with one of their own. This often means chewing on items like shoes and furniture, excessive barking, and howling, digging and other destructive behaviors. This usually is not from a lack of training, but from a lack of mental stimulation.
There are many ways to engage and exercise your pet’s mind. Training of any kind, from basic obedience to more advanced, will make your pup put his thinking cap on. Training is an excellent way to tire out your dog’s mind, it is also a great bonding activity and you will see some positive results.
Try some Toys to keep them busy
Hard rubber toys come in many shapes and sizes and are fun for chewing and carrying around. For dogs that like tug-of-war and chewing on different textures, rope and woven toys are generally available in a "bone" shape with knotted ends.
Tennis balls make great dog toys for fetching, but do not stand up to chewing very well. Discard any tennis balls that have been chewed through, as they can pose a choking hazard to your pet.
Some toys, when filled with broken-up treats, can keep a puppy or dog busy for hours. (If your veterinarian says your dog can eat peanut butter, add some to the crushed-up treats for a tastier —and busier— treat!)
"Busy-box" or "feeder" toys are large rubber shapes that can be filled with treats. By moving the cube around with their nose, mouth and paws, your dog can get to the goodies. Many dogs who tend to eat their food too quickly benefit from being fed through a feeder-style toy.
Soft stuffed toys are good for several purposes, but they are not appropriate for all dogs. Here are a few tips for choosing the right stuffed toy:
- Some dogs like to carry around soft toys. If your dog sees their toy as a companion, pick one that is small enough to carry.
- Some dogs want to shake or "kill" their toys, so choose one that is large enough to prevent accidental swallowing and sturdy enough to withstand the dog’s attacks.
- Dirty laundry, such as an old t-shirt, pillowcase, towel, or blanket, can be very comforting to a dog, especially if the item smells like you.