Brain Game #4: Interactive Meal Time
One way to provide mental stimulation is to provide your dog his or her meals or treats in an interactive toy. Not only does this method bust boredom, but it also prevents dogs from gulping down their food too quickly, which could result in a deadly case of bloat.
There are many ways to make mealtime interactive. You can add a tennis ball to your dog’s food bowl, which will force him or her to push the ball around to reach the kibble. You can load up an interactive dog toy with food and watch as your pet problem solves to eat the entire meal. On a sunny day, you can also sprinkle your dog’s kibble in the yard to remind your pet how to hunt for a meal!
Brain Game #5: DIY Agility Course
Every time your dog learns a new skill your pet must actively use his or her brain. Even if you have never practiced Agility with your pet, this tip is a fun way to provide both mental and physical exercise.
To begin, pick out 2–3 objects in your yard that can be used for your makeshift course. Ideas include a picnic table as a “stay table,” a bench as a hurdle, and a few PVC pipes as weave poles. Use tasty treats to guide your dog through the course, providing plenty of praise when your pet gets the right idea about your expectations. See how fast you and your dog can complete the routine.
Alternatively, if outdoor obstacles are not feasible, you can set up a “Rally-O” course indoors. Create 3–4 stations where a trick must be performed, such as “sit,” “shake,” and “lie down.” Practice the command at each station before dashing off to the next one. Like the Agility course, see how quickly you and your dog can perform the routine flawlessly.
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Please note: all dogs should be treated as individuals. The Actijoy™ blog is for educational and entertainment purposes only. In the case of emergency, always seek qualified healthcare from a local veterinarian or emergency facility. Actijoy™ blogs are not designed to treat, diagnose, or prescribe medication for your pet.