Why your dog’s brain health and stimulation is important
When it comes to your dog’s health, your mind probably goes straight to diet and exercise. And yes, of course, both are absolutely essential to their health and wellbeing, but you should also consider their mind, too. Just like it is for us humans, your dog’s brain health and mental stimulation is an integral part of their overall health.
What is mental stimulation?
Think of mental stimulation as a workout for your pupper’s brain to keep their cognitive health fighting fit. A bored pup can mean an unhappy pup. To fight boredom, your pupper may find ways to amuse themselves, such as digging holes, barking and chewing on things they shouldn’t, resulting in stressful scenarios for both of you.
How to mentally stimulate your dog
There are a variety of ways you can mentally stimulate your dog. Here are a few that we and our pack both love:
Change your walking routine: It’s easy to stick to the regular walk, but a new route or even a hike will be a welcomed change. The new scents and scenery will help to keep your pupper excited and engaged in their surroundings the next time you venture outside.
Teaching your dog new tricks: Take 5-15 minutes each day to teach your pupper a new trick. Tricks can be a form of mental stimulation for dogs, and they’ll love the cheeky reward at the end (check out our healthy treats here!). Does your dog know how to sit on command or even roll? Why not give it a go!
Treat-based games: Hiding treats or scattering treats in easy-to-reach places is a great enrichment activity. You can also play games where your pupper completes tasks such as putting their toys away or dropping their ball in containers. Give them a treat as a reward when they complete the task successfully – our Chicky Chews or Tripe Straps make the perfect training treats.
Arrange play dates with pupper pals: Set up play dates or take your pup to various dog parks to stimulate them and have them mingle with other people and puppers. When it comes to socialising, there are just a few things to remember:
- Take it slow when introducing your pupper to new potential friends. Closely monitor them until you’re confident they are getting along well.
- To avoid the risk of passing along any nasties, you should ensure your pupper is up to date on any vaccinations or flea, tick and worming treatments they may require. We’d recommend speaking to your vet about what they think is best for your pupper.
Use mentally enriching toys: Feed your pupper using enrichment toys and puzzles to make mealtime fun, or even just as a boredom buster. Our favourite items include puzzle toys, snuffle mats and even treats like our Lamb Straws, which can be filled with your pupper’s favourite Lyka recipe or even a slick of xylitol-free peanut butter! Remember, puppers have much better smell than you, so perhaps try and explore safe aromatherapy scent-based games where you dilute 100% Lavender essential oil and drip a few drops on a toy and see if they can find it!
Rotating your pupper’s toys: Rotating the toys your pupper has access to or introducing new toys every few weeks is an easy and effective way keep them engaged and excited for playtime.
Lyka: Delicious, nutritious brain-boosting meals for your pupper
There are many ways to keep your dog’s brain health in check and their mind entertained and mentally stimulated to ensure they’re happy and healthy. On top of this, they of course, need a good diet. Take the stress out of your pupper’s mealtime by joining the pack and having vet-formulated, complete and balanced fresh recipes delivered to direct to your door. Bursting with brain-loving ingredients such as egg, fish oil, purple & red sweet potatoes and quinoa, our wholefood recipes are perfect for boosting your pupper’s cognitive health.