Mental Stimulation for Dogs

Exercizing the Brain

It is true that dogs need stimulation throughout the day. You may think tiring your dog out with physical exercise is the only option, but mental stimulation is just as important and can even ware your pup out faster than going for a run.  When you increase your dog’s physical activity, they adapt with increased endurance.  This is why you should always aim to balance out physical activity with mental stimulation.

One of the main ways I provide mental stimulation for my own dogs is by making them work for their meals.  Why give them a meal in a bowl that will last 1 minute when I could give them the same meal and make it last an hour. I stuff whatever I am feeding into toys such and kongs, lickimats and slow feeder bowls and freeze them overnight. This is also an excellent way to keep your dog from scarfing their food down in 5 seconds which is better for digestion too!

Another similar concept is to create a “busy box”.  I start with food frozen in a slow feeder bowl, wrapped in a blanket with a few treat pieces scattered throughout. You can also wrap up some favorite toys in blankets or towels and stuff them in the box too. Doing this provides your pet with something to do for 30-40 minutes of brain activity.

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