Your dog is not just a pet. He is family. But as in any family, there is sometimes trouble. And when you come home to cover every surface with pillow fillings, including your ashamed Fido, or whenever you spend more time chasing after your little Max or Millie than actually visiting them every time you visit friends, that can be a sign your dog needs more stimulation and enrichment. But how do you go about it?
A dog’s life
You might think of your dog as a cute and cuddly fur baby in the first place, but the reality is that your dog is probably a lot smarter than even you, their proud pet parents, might think. And while that’s a huge plus in many ways, it can also make caring for your little one a little more complex.
After all, an intelligent but bored dog is an unhappy dog. And they’ll find a way to fill their days, a way to entertain themselves, unless you offer them that entertainment. Think about it: you have all this pent-up energy and yet your human companion spends most of their waking hours at work, leaving you at home alone without being distracted by valuable distractions.
When your precious pooch doesn’t have much to do to use up his physical energy and keep his mind occupied, he can behave in quite destructive ways, which can be dangerous for your pet and harmful to your home.
The good news is that there are many ways you can add a little more excitement to your favorite Furry kid’s life. And the best thing is that you will make great memories with your beloved companion!
Enriching the environment
You were perhaps one of millions of Americans who chose to welcome a pet into their home during the pandemic shutdown, only to be forced to spend most of the day away from them when workplaces reopen will.
Or maybe you work from home, but the daily chores keep you on the go more than you and your four-legged friend would like. This can lead to some pretty nasty surprises when you get home.
However, you can help your pet have fun while you are away and even when you are busy at home by creating an enriching space specifically for your fur baby. Your pet’s area should be furnished with easy-to-clean furnishings and textiles that can withstand the stresses an active dog is sure to put on them.
In addition, you should trick your pet’s room with lots of fun toys and games. Puzzle feeders, for example, can be filled with goodies that are only served when your Bruiser or Betsy has hit the right combination!
Old dog, new tricks
A great way to add not only stimulation, but a lot of fun to your dog – and yours – life is by teaching your dog a few new tricks. And we’re not just talking about the old standard commands of obedience.
We’re talking about some hardcore games and fun, like setting up an agility course in the backyard. This can be a great way not only to give your dog plenty of mental stimulation, but also to help them get rid of some of the physical energy that may have accumulated while you were away from work.
And best of all, you will both be doing great exercises. Just make sure you and your canine companion stay well hydrated as you tackle the backyard obstacle course, play in the park, or go for a brisk evening run together! Remember to pack plenty of fresh, cool water for you and your little one and don’t forget to bring a container for your fur baby to drink from!
Get into the game
As much as you and your pooch may have fun playing outside, there may be times that you or your buddy may prefer calmer, gentler games at home. And luckily, turning any time into game time is simple and easy. For example, no dog can resist a good game of hide-and-seek. You can either do it with food, treats, or toys. Simply hide the item in an accessible place and order your little Einstein to “find” it. When they get near the hidden object, praise them enthusiastically. Not only will they have to use their own wits to eradicate the prize, but they will also learn to listen better to their human mom or dad!
Take that away
You may be the proud pet parent of the perfect pooch, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be frustrations sometimes, especially if your Fido is feeling bored and restless. But with a little strategy and effort, you can stimulate and enrich your dog’s life. And that will result in a happier, healthier, and better-behaved fur baby!