Check it out at here, "Mental exercise tires a dog physically more than physical exercise does."
Ian Dunbar says that mental exercise is actually more physically exhausting for your pooch than physical! This is great news for a number of reasons:
- Mentally stimulating activities and toys can exhaust your dog more than a long walk, hike, or other exercise session
- If you dog has physical limitations, mental stimulation is a great way to get them the exercise they need
- If the weather is iffy, and you can't get your dog out for a hike or long walk, these mental exercises will help keep your dog (and you) sane
Ideas For Mentally Exercising Your Dog
1. Nose Work! (aka hiding your dog's food around the house or in the backyard) Nose work is one of the most mentally stimulating activities for dogs. Instead of feeding your dog tonight's dinner in a food bowl, hide little piles of kibble around the house (or around the backyard), and let them sniff out their dinner! The focus required by your dog to sniff out his food while tucker him out. Start easy, and over time you can make your hiding spots more difficult! For more information on true nose work, check out this site.
2. Kongs! A kong is a rubber toy, with a small opening at the bottom, designed to stuff with all sorts of yummy treats, including your dog's breakfast or dinner. There are several websites out there with recipes on what you can stuff your dog's kong with, but you can start with kibble and peanut butter, or kibble and pumpkin. Your dog will get to work extracting his dinner from his kong, and you'll have a few minutes to sit back and relax. There are also a number of other puzzle toys on the market now, so check them out too!
3. Teach a new command! A 10-15 minute training session with your dog will keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated, and ready for a break afterwards. It's always great to review commands/tricks that you have worked on in the past as a "warm up" and then incorporate one to two new behaviors or ongoing behaviors that you're working towards.
4. Interactive games! Not only can you tire your pooch out with games like "tug" or "fetch" but both games are also great opportunities for you and your dog to interact and bond. Both toys should be played with some good ground rules, so they don't get out of hand, but these games can be played virtually anywhere, even in a limited space!
As a dog walker in Branford, I know how hard it is to make sure that your dog gets the exercise they need when you can't take your dog for a long walk due to poor weather, If you have other ideas, feel free to share them in our comments section below!