How to keep your dog’s mind in good shape

Enrichment toys and games will keep your dog occupied (photo: Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash)

Not all dogs will be Crufts champions, but they all need mental stimulation.

With so many eyes on the biggest dog party in the world, all things canine are in the spotlight.

We talk a lot about a dog’s need for physical exercise, but what about his mind?

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Your dog’s toys aren’t just for fun – they’re also used to prevent certain problem behaviors and help reduce canine stress and anxiety levels.

“It’s well known that our pets need plenty of exercise to stay happy and healthy,” said Carolyn Menteith, behaviorist at tails.com.

“But some dog owners often forget that channeling your dog’s mind is just as important. Not only does mental stimulation promote good dog behavior, it gives a proper outlet for our dog’s natural need to gnaw and chew. – which is a great canine stress – reliever.

“Like humans, stress can cause health problems for dogs. Dogs that do not receive enough mental stimulation, problem-solving opportunities, and an outlet for their natural behaviors are likely to experience levels of stress heightened, which can lead to anxiety, depression, and behavioral problems.

With that in mind, the team at http://tails.com/ have shared the best types of toys to keep your pup happy and entertained.

Best Enrichment Dog Games and Toys for Mental Stimulation

dog puzzle

Enrichment toys are designed to keep your canine companion busy and make meal or treat times more interesting with problem-solving challenges for dogs that encourage them to flip, push or roll them to access a treat.

These types of toys are not designed for chewing, fetching, or chasing; they are meant for learning and concentration.

They’re often not as sturdy so should always be used when you’re there to supervise – and you can make great interactive play out of them by encouraging your dog to solve the puzzle.

Your pup may not understand these puzzle toys right away, so by working with him you can show him how he can get a treat and make it easy until he gets it.

You don’t have to spend a fortune on fancy toys. You can hide treats in small boxes, plastic bottles and encourage your dog to find them, but be very careful with homemade toys and make sure they are safe to chew on and don’t show signs of damage. choking hazard.

We all know it can be difficult to keep a dog busy and mentally stimulated, especially when they are young and full of energy.

Food-dispensing toys can help manage boredom while developing mental skills and increased dexterity. These products encourage dogs to chew, lick, push, throw toys to find and obtain food.

Food dispensers are also great if your pet eats too quickly, as the toy dispenses a few cookies at a time, reducing how quickly they eat their lunch.

Some food-dispensing toys are made from sturdy rubber that can be filled with food and can be a distraction if you have to leave your dog alone.

But remember that no toy is 100% safe and so if you have a “powerful chewer” you might be better off using something like a tube or cardboard box that can be torn and safely torn.

Lickimats

Lickimats are a simple and affordable way to entertain and stimulate your dog.

By spreading your dog’s favorite soft treat on the surface, such as peanut butter or banana, you create a fun and tasty game.

Lickimats are sheets of silicone or rubber, with a raised texture or pattern. This design traps food so it takes longer for the dog to eat it all, making dinner or treat time last longer.

Interactive hide and seek

Hide and seek can be played anywhere in the house or garden, and all it takes is a curious pup and some tasty treats.

Simply hide the treats around the house and let your dog use his nose to sniff them out.

Alternatively, add treats to a blanket and roll it up. Your pet will use its paws and nose to push the cover and retrieve the treats.

Snuff mats are a great way to entertain and mentally stimulate your dog.

The toy encourages your pet to sniff and search for the special treats hidden in the carpet strands. The best part is that you can do it yourself with felt and a rubber mat with holes.

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