While physical exercise is very important, mental exercise is too. Imagine if it were you sitting in a small kennel all day just waiting for the moment someone arrived to let you out. That is a long day with nothing to do! Mental exercise can also be a good alternative to physical exercise on rainy or cold days.
Mental exercise in dogs is similar to things we do like reading a book, watching a television show, or browsing the net. Your dog will thank you for providing him with a little mental entertainment. Here are some ideas of things that you can do.
1. Buy interactive toys. There are many different types of toys including the Kong, Buster Cube, Tricky Treat Ball, Tug a Jug and more. These toys are a great way to keep your dog entertained, and make them work for their food!
2. Find it! Teach your dog to use it’s nose to find treats you have hidden around the house. The first few times you may need to help your dog, but they catch on fast!
3. Teach your dog a new trick or take a training class! Training is one of the best mental exercises. Try shake, roll over, play dead or sit pretty! There are plenty more tricks you can try once your pooch masters those as well as some great obedience exercises, agility, or flyball!
4. Hide and Seek. Play hide and seek with your dog. Have your dog stay (or have someone else hold him/her) while you hide. Say your dogs name and see how long it takes him to find you. You can also play this game when your dog is not paying attention to where you are.
5. Bubbles! Some dogs love chasing bubbles! Give it a try!