Keeping your Dog in Strong Mental Health

Our brains require regular stimulation in order to stay sharp and healthy. For example, I finish crossword puzzles, read books, and engage in lively conversation. All those things are suitable for humans, but what about your pets? How do make sure your dog stays in strong mental health?  Dogs require their own special type of intellectual exercises and it is up to you to give your dog, young or old, special mental exercises to perform.

Every pet owner should want a mentally sharp and intelligent dog. Smarter dogs are more likely to adapt to change more seamlessly and are typically better-behaved in social situations. Smarter pets are less likely to get in trouble while also making better companions.

Now that you understand all the benefits mental stimulation can provide your pet, you can begin strengthening your dog’s brain. Did you know most physical exercises hold some aspect of mental stimulation? For example, a game of catch requires the dog be alert to a ball being thrown and where it lands. The dog is attentive as to where the ball will be going in order to properly fetch it; the dog also makes mental judgments as to how far the ball has traveled, etc.

Dogs love toys, especially those that motivate and stimulate mental activity. There are toys available that require your dog to to think. Your pet has to figure out some sort of puzzle in order to retrieve a prize, usually a treat. These dog toys force your canine to concentrate and think a certain way in order to receive the reward. Don’t underestimate your dog either when it comes to these puzzle toys. You’ll be surprised how quickly he or she can figure them out when properly motivated with food.

My personal favorite method for stimulating my pet’s mind is a fun game of chase. It involves a lot more than running around; it teaches your dog how to follow you. A game of chase allows the dog to mentally develop strategies to catch you while training its brain in the process.

No matter how you choose to help your dog stay mentally strong and active, remember to have fun doing so. You and your dog will both be better off and have more fun in the process.