Like humans, dogs often become bored with the same dull routine everyday. In fact, dogs who lack mental stimulation in their routines are more likely to develop destructive behaviors, such as chewing on your furniture or a favorite pair of shoes. With the change of seasons and the new school year rolling in, keeping your pup stimulated and excited after a fun summer is very important. Here are four tips from the pooch experts at Perfect Pooch on how to increase your dog’s mental stimulation as we head into the new school year.
Make an Obstacle Course For Your Dog
You have a tricked-out home office, your kids have a super fun tree house—but what about your dog? A cost-effective, fun and easy way to keep your playful pet’s mind stimulated even as the weather gets cooler is to make an obstacle course for them. Here are some household items you can use to make jumps, tunnels and balance beams:
- Deflated sports balls
- Empty boxes
You can teach your dog to ‘go to the box,’ ‘jump over the broomstick’ or ‘weave’ through cones or balls. While this may not be as fancy as a course that you’d find at a doggy daycare, it will still offer many benefits for you and your pup, making it an effective mental (and physical) workout for your pooch.
Engage in More Interactive Play With Your Dog
An uncomplicated way to keep your furry friend mentally stimulated is to incorporate more interactive play into your everyday routine. Recent studies have found that dogs who engage in more play are less likely to suffer from behavioral issues. We know it may seem quite basic, but playing a game of tug, fetch or “find the treat” can help with impulse control, while also stimulating their brains.
Let Your Dog Sniff and Explore on Walks
Just as you idolize your lunch break, your four-legged friend’s favorite part of their day is their walk. By improving a few aspects of their daily walk—like giving them more time to sniff and analyze their surroundings—you can enrich their senses and tire them out more than a walk that’s only focused on them taking care of business.
Stimulation for When You Can’t Play
Now that the new school year has begun, things will be busier than ever, but there are certain activities that will help stimulate your dog during those moments when you don’t have time to play with them. These include:
Scavenger hunts: Scatter small piles of food or toys throughout your home for your pooch to find throughout the day.
Whether you have a new puppy who needs to be taught good habits or you have a furry friend who needs to break bad habits (and learn healthier ones), the dog training courses at Perfect Pooch in King of Prussia, PA can help. Contact us today to book a training session for your (soon-to-be-perfect) pooch!