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Mental and Physical Stimulation for dogs

In order to have well adjusted dogs, they need both mental and physical stimulation on a daily basis. The desire for your dog to keep busy is deeply ingrained in the majority of dogs. If you don’t provide an outlet for the energy that your dog has, then your dog might become destructive, anxious or frustrated. This may then cause numerous behavior problems.

Many dog owners do not understand how much physical exercise a dog may require. Some people with mistakenly think that a couple of short walks or a quick game of fetch is sufficient. This little amount of physical exercise is generally not enough for young and active dogs. Especially dogs of a medium to large size. So you want to be prepared to try several different exercises appropriate to the individual dog.

Here are some ideas for physical stimulation outlets.

1. Jogging

2. Frisbee tossing (not every dog likes to chase frisbees)

3. The use of dog teaser toys such as Woofstick this is an exercise and training tool

4. Power walks

5. An outing to a dog park

6. Hiring a pet walker for mid day exercise

7. Dog daycare two or three days per week

8. Dog sports such as agility, Rally-O, herding, flyball, and Teri b-ball.

Mental stimulation is every bit still important to a dog’s behavioral well- being as physical exercise. Since most domesticated dogs receive their food from out a bowl on a schedule, they are deprived of the mentally stimulating foraging activity natural to them. Offering outlets for these natural behaviors can drastically reduce problem behaviors that are going on in the home. Additionally mental enrichment activities can be undertaken by almost any dog. Including those who may have a physical impairment that limits the possibility of physical activity.

*For example a dog with hip dysphasia may be unable to walk, run, or jump but would enjoy foraging with a food puzzle or stuffed Kong rubber toy.

Here are some ideas for mental stimulation outlets.

1. Stuff a Kong

2. Dog puzzles

3. A fun feeder interactive dog bowl

4. Have your dog work for its food

5. Teach your dog some new tricks

6. Teach your dog the name of its toys.

7. Do some nose work games

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