A Few Ideas to Keep Your Dog Stimulated and Happy
Dogs are like people, they need stimulation and activity to make their lives interesting, happy and fulfilling. Engaging our dogs in activities that allow them to follow their natural instincts and behaviors like sniffing, chasing and chewing will bring them pleasure and fulfillment. But how do we do that? There are many ways you can enrich your dog’s daily life. Here are a few simple suggestions:
Dogs use their noses to explore and learn about their environment, so let them sniff when on their daily walks. Remember it’s their walk not yours 😊.
Use a snuffle mat or muffin tin to challenge your dog and satisfy their seek-and-find instincts. Hide their kibble or treats in the mat or put them in a muffin tin and use tennis balls to cover each circular hole. They will enjoy searching and finding their food or treats. This is a great activity to stimulate their minds. It’s also a great way to slow down a fast eater.
Dog puzzles can be a fun, challenging activity for your dog. There are lots of styles of dog puzzle activities that you can purchase, so choose one that you think will work for your dog. You can also create simple dog puzzles with things in your own home like cardboard tubes from toilet paper or paper towel rolls.
When it is super hot outside, playing outdoors may not be the best idea for your dog as they can get overheat or have a heat stroke. That's when an indoor obstacle course might come in handy. You can make an obstacle course inside your home using cardboard boxes like the ones you get from Chewy or Amazon. The obstacle course can be as simple or as complex as you'd like. Create a box maze or a series of tunnels. You can hide treats or toys along the way to make it interesting and fun for your dog. Check out Home Obstacle Course with Cardboard Boxes for some cool ideas. Watch this pet owner create an indoor agility course for their two beagles.
Remember it's all about making it fun, enriching and interesting!
For more enrichment activity ideas for your dog, check out these two articles with instructions for creating some at-home activities for your dog: