Raising a puppy is no mean feat. It comes with a lot of responsibility that you must be able to fulfil.
Outside of the duties to nurture your dog well, it is enjoyable to spend some quality time with it playing games, teaching tricks or going on walks.
How to Entertain Your Dog?- However, it is pretty challenging to keep your dog involved in an activity for a while as dogs tend to have short attention spans. This may often leave you as a dog parent wondering how to entertain your dog.
Keeping your dog entertained is essential for their mental and physical well-being. Here are some ways to entertain your dog:
- Play interactive games: Engage in games like fetch, hide-and-seek, or puzzle toys to stimulate their mind.
- Provide chew toys: Offer safe and durable chew toys to keep your dog occupied and prevent destructive chewing.
- Go for walks or hikes: Regular exercise helps release energy and provides mental stimulation.
- Teach new tricks: Engage in positive training sessions to teach your dog new commands or tricks.
- Create a sensory garden: Plant dog-friendly herbs and plants to create an enriching outdoor environment.
- Schedule playdates: Arrange playdates with other friendly dogs to provide socialization opportunities.
It is known that dogs are the happiest when outdoors. However, it is not always possible to take your dog outdoors due to multiple factors.
Therefore knowing how to keep your dog busy whilst indoors and in your absence is essential to prevent boredom. This article lists various methods to mentally and physically stimulate your pet.
What is the Ideal Stimulation for Dogs?
Dogs are active beings by nature and are usually seen darting across the room. They are animals that require both mental and physical exertion to be in an ideal state. Keeping them busy and entertained while ensuring that no damage is caused at home can be difficult.
While outdoors, various elements catch your dog's attention, keeping it engaged without any effort from you, but it is not so easy to replicate the same at home.
Depending on its breed, your dog requires a minimum of 20 minutes of mental stimulation along with daily walks outdoors. This differs based on health conditions, breed, and your dog's age.
Providing physical stimulation for your pet may need you to take out time from your day, but engaging your dog mentally is an easy task that can be done with just a few toys in case you don't have the time to do so yourself.
Simple activities like sniffing, chewing, etc., offer mental stimulation and do not require you to stick around.
What if there is a Lack of Stimulation?
A bored dog is a disaster waiting to happen. It is necessary to provide mental and physical stimulation regularly to your dog to ensure low-stress levels, sharp reflexes, and good physical conditions.
Promotes Destructive Behaviour
A common sign of boredom is seeing your dog being disobedient. When there is no other way for it to get rid of the excess energy it has,
or when it is going through a stressful time, you may see your dog damaging property by chewing on furniture legs, biting through clothing, rummaging through your trash and overall not following your commands.
This may also happen when you do not pay your dog enough attention.
Mental Agility Slows Down
Keeping yourself mentally challenged is a vital part of human life. Otherwise, you tend to slow down in life and settle for lesser than your capabilities. Similarly, dogs also need to be introduced to new situations to explore to keep them mentally agile.
You may not notice at first. But with time, as your dog ages, it may not be able to respond to simple commands if it has not been mentally stimulated since a young age.
Canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome is another risk that can be minimized that is caused by ageing, which leads to slow cognitive functioning.
Negative Health Consequences
Physical exercise is a must for any animal. Dogs being active animals, are used to physical exertion.
Avoiding walking your dog and playing with it has negative consequences on its health. It may cause an increase in weight, general lethargy, a decline in cardiovascular health, etc. It also increases susceptibility to diseases.
How to Entertain Your Dog?
Keeping your dog entertained while indoors seems like a difficult task. However, once in action, these tips can make it extremely easy to keep your pet engaged using these tips.
Training your dog is the first step to being a responsible pet parent. You can teach your dog various commands to ensure that it stays in discipline when required.
Outside of the basic commands like sit, stay, down, etc., there are numerous fun tricks you can teach your dog, like playing dead, rolling over, etc., to keep your guests entertained.
It is also difficult to run out of tricks to teach as there are a plethora of tricks that can be found online, and pet trainers are constantly coming up with new ideas to entertain you and your pet.
Enrol Your Dog in Classes
You may get bored teaching your dog tricks at some point. At this time, take a break from doing it yourself and let a professional intervene. Enrol your dog on classes where they train it to be agile, use nose work, etc. This requires less effort from you and means more fun for the both of you.
Fun Memory Games Using Dog Treats
Dogs have a great sense of smell. Using memory games to train its nose is another excellent option to keep your dog engaged. This can be done using any three similar containers and a treat.
Hide the treat under one of the containers and shuffle them around in front of your dog. Keep the first few tries easy to get by using treats that your pet can easily guess and shower it with heaps of praise. Slowly start using non-smelling objects to make it a real test of its memory.
Have Fun During Mealtimes
Mealtimes are usually characterized by dogs scarfing down their food within a few minutes. To make this experience engaging, divide the meal into small portions and set them in different locations across your house in areas that you allow your dog access.
Place one bowl in a different location just as your dog is finishing off the bowl it is eating out of. Ensure that you keep these bowls in areas without restrictions for your dog because this may lead them to frequent the place afterwards in search of a treat.
Tug of War
It is challenging to plan immersive games indoors due to the fear of damage, but there are small games that you can play in whatever limited area you have in your house.
To play the simple game of tug of war, all you need is a strong cloth and a little bit of tact to let go before your dog gets very aggressive.
However, this game needs stern training to ensure that your dog is in your control at all times to make the rules very clear.
Planning an obstacle race is a straightforward task. All you need to do is move household items around to create a course in your home's most significant available space. Use obstacles of various heights to make it challenging for your pet.
How to Keep Dog Entertained While at Work?
Due to prior responsibilities, you may not always be available to play with your pet. Allowing your pet some time to be independent and stimulated mentally is also necessary.
Toys for Engagement
Toys for dogs is a segment that has grown rapidly over the years. Presently there are various toys to keep your dog's attention trained on them while you're not around.
A great example would be a hollow kong, a toy that looks like ice cream scoops topped on each other, which is hollow from the bottom.
The kong can be used to entertain your dog as it bounces on its own due to the wind. It can also be used as a treat by stuffing the hollow part with dog treats in liquid consistency such as peanut butter and freezing it. This will keep your dog engaged for a long while until the treat is liquified.
Puzzles for Problem Solving Skills
Puzzles promote problem-solving skills in your dog. Usually, puzzles come with the option of putting a treat inside.
Your dog will have to think and get the treat out by itself, keeping it busy for a long while. This helps train your dog to work for its treat and ensures that it will do its best as a treat is just out of reach.
Chew toys can be bought or made at home to engage your dog and alleviate boredom. However, check the toys you provide your dog as they may cause oral damage.
A treat-dispensing toy is a great help to have. It dispenses treats to your dog in your absence. Usually, your dog needs to activate it by completing a task, such as rolling it over. This promotes engagement and solving the problem.
Dogs require physical and psychological activity to keep active, happy, and pleased. Walking, jogging, and sports give physical activity,
while a variety of activities can provide cerebral engagement. And this article on how to entertain your dog in a simple manner can guide you through the evergreen fuss.