New dog owners, sometimes even old ones, think of dogs as goofy and energetic animals that make great companions. All of this is true, but there’s another thing we all need to know, and that is, dogs are intelligent beings too. Their minds are just as charged as their body, and they need an outlet for it. You indeed need to put effort and time into your dog’s physical health, but the same is true for the dogs’ mental health.
Many times, dogs exhibit behavioral issues despite perfect physical stimulation, and the reasons behind it could be none other than their boring minds. Here are some more reasons why mental stimulation is important for dogs:
1. New Learning Experience
Just like us humans, dogs too are perfectly capable of learning and enjoying new things. The same schedule every day can make them bored and sometimes depressed. When dogs are exposed to new challenges and exposed to them repeatedly, they benefit greatly from them. In addition to getting mentally stimulated, they also learn something new. For example, using new smells to stimulate your dog’s mind will also allow them to recognize new scents.
2. Prevents Isolation
Dogs who are the only pets in their homes often suffer from isolation, even more so if they are completely indoors. Something as mentally stimulating as watching outside the window can help them feel less isolated. Another way you can mentally stimulate your dog and make them feel less isolated is by involving them in the daily flow of your lives. Hide toys around the house and keep them mentally busy all day long while you are at work.
3. Prevent Destructive Behavior
Just like neglected children, dogs also act out when they are bored. When your dog tears up couches, chews everything, and is on a destructive streak despite physicals stimulation, then they are asking to be mentally stimulated. Some dogs even become extremely restless and start pacing when they are bored.
4. To Deal with Whining
If you keep your dog physically active and it still whines a lot, then he’s indicating mental discomfort. But first, you need to take them to a vet to rule out any physical ailment. Once that’s ruled out, you can say for sure, your dog is bored. Give them mental exercises and see if the whining stops.
5. To Prevent and Address Cabin Fever
Dogs who remain inside the house for most of the time feel cooped up, which isn’t good for their well-being. Mental stimulation activities such as hiding toys, introducing new scents, and food games can help them experience new sights and sounds.
Most dog breeds were originally raised for serving various specific purposes. They all have their strengths and their jobs. If you keep these dogs as a pet, make sure their minds use the mental skills they are born to use. Provide them enough mental stimulation to keep them happy and the relationship between you two healthy and exciting.