The Importance of Engaging Your Dog Both Mentally & Physically

As a dog owner, your pet’s health and safety are paramount. You ensure their nutritional needs are met, they get enough exercise, and they have regular vet visits to stay on top of any health issues. However, physical well being isn’t the only aspect of your dog’s health. Just like humans, dogs can suffer mentally if not engaged in activities that stimulate and entertain them. Simply said, just like us, dogs get bored. Boredom that stretches for long periods of time can lead to depression and negative health side effects for your canine companion. To combat this, it is important to make sure you are engaging your pup in fun, stimulating activities. To get you started, we compiled a list of activities you can do with your dog to ensure their mental health is just as strong as their physical health. 

Fun and Engaging Activities to Keep Your Dog Active

The activities below are designed to engage your dog’s mind as well as their body to stave off boredom and encourage an active lifestyle. 

Engaging Outdoor Activities

Getting your dog outside is one of the best ways to keep them active and healthy. When you are ready to head out with your dog, here are some ideas for keeping them engaged: 

  1. Take a Walk or Hike: Dogs love going for walks. So next time you go for a hike or on a walk, grab a lease and bring your pup with you! While on the walk, allow your dog to smell objects along the way. This engages their brain in the physical activity and makes the walk or hike much more enjoyable for them. This is also a great opportunity to reinforce leash training with your dog to ensure they are safe while they have fun! You can also practice obedience commands with your dog in these new environments. This will improve the overall control you have in daily life.
  2. Go for a Swim: While this is much easier for those that have a pool or a pond on their property, anyone can get their dog playing in water. If you live around a nearby lake or beach, particularly Lake Michigan, taking your dog out to the water to swim and play is fantastic exercise and something your dog will love. Don’t have access to a body of water? Make one yourself! Busting out a kiddie pool or setting up a sprinkler are great options when you can’t make it to a lake. 

Fun Indoor Activities

While it’s great to get outside with your pup, that’s not always possible. But don’t worry, we’ve got some ideas for indoor activities to keep your pup engaged: 

  1. Daily Obedience Training: This is a great way to not only engage your dog mentally, but it also reinforces any obedience training they have previously had. Doing short bursts of obedience training daily will not only lead to a happy dog, but will also keep their obedience training fresh. If you are not sure where to start with obedience training, signing up for a class is a great way to get your dog active. If you are interested in learning more advanced training techniques, try an intermediate or advanced training class.
  2. Learn a New Trick: Don’t believe the saying that old dogs can’t learn new tricks. They absolutely can and it’s a great way to keep your dog engaged mentally! Just like with most training, learning a new trick will take time, reinforcement, and practice. But, if you and your canine have experience with training, learning and reinforcing a new trick can be easier and much more manageable.
  3. Food Puzzle Toys: These toys are great for preventing boredom when you’re away from the house. Simply hide some treats inside the puzzle toy and leave your dog to hours of entertainment figuring out how to solve the puzzle and get rewarded with treats. 
  4. Scent Detection Nose-Work: At Landheim K9, we offer Scent Detection Nose-Work training. These classes are a great way to provide your dog with the stimulation they need. Our dogs’ nose or olfactory system is their strongest sense. Dogs basically see the world around them through their nose. Nose work classes are a natural and fulfilling way to engage your dog and a good deal of fun for all!

Landheim K9 Cares

Engaging your dog in fun activities is vital and that’s why Landheim K9 offers plenty of services to help! If you are interested in participating in obedience training, advanced training, scent detection nose-work classes with your pup, contact Landheim K9 to schedule your classes today! If you are in need of grooming services after going on an outdoor adventure with your dog, Landheim K9 has you covered. Simply call 219-365-8897 to schedule your appointment. 

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