7 Activities to Challenge Your Dog’s Brain
You know why adequate exercise is important to your dog's health. But did you know Fido needs brain exercise too? Challenge your pup's intellect with these brain-stimulating activities.
1. Give Him Challenging Toys
Puzzle toys and other activities that require patience and strategy are a great way to attract your pup's attention and get him thinking. Food-dispensing toys combine the two things your pup loves most — food and play. These brainteasers come in several size-appropriate options and allow Fido to chew, bounce, paw and nudge at them to get at the yummy morsels inside.
2. Engage Pup's Mind With Automation
You may not be able to play fetch with your pooch every minute of the day, but automated toys can play with him for you. Fetch is a great way to engage all of your pup's five senses to keep his brain active, and an automated fetch thrower challenges your dog to not only retrieve the ball, but return it to the thrower correctly in order to get the next pitch.
3. Play Hide-and-Seek
A fun game that stimulates your pup's intellect is playing hide-and-seek. Hide his favorite toys, treats or clothing you've recently worn in different spots of your home. Let Fido find them using his sense of smell and his reasoning skills.
4. Brush Up on Obedience Training
Training is a wonderful way to keep your pup's mind sharp. After all, learning new things stimulates brain activity. Don't forget to use tasty treats to reward him for performing a desired behavior on command so he'll want to continue learning.
5. Have a Pooch Play Date
Just like they can be for humans, social situations can be mentally challenging for dogs, especially when they're meeting someone new. Invite a fellow pet parent and her pooch over for a doggie play date. Let the pups interact with some supervision but let them sort out the dynamics of their new relationship as independently as possible. This way, your pup can improve his social skills and get a brain workout at the same time.