We are experiencing a colder than usual winter. Hi there, CEO Olivia here. During these cold days Suzie Q & I aren’t too enthused about playing in our yard. So our huMom needs to keep us occupied so we don’t get bored.
It’s important that your good dog gets plenty of physical exercise but it’s equally important for them to work their brains too. Boredom can lead to OCD & other “unwanted” behaviors such as destroying furniture. And a canine couch potato is just as bad as it’s human counterpart. So here are a few suggestions to keep a dog’s mind sharp & it’s day more interesting.
Food puzzle toys are invaluable boredom busters. Since my wild cousins spend much of their time scavenging for food, food puzzle toys offer a natural solution to dog boredom. Puzzle toys also encourage chewing & licking, which can have a calming effect on dogs. I have a toy that looks like a big paw. My huMom hides treats under these sliding doors that I have to work for my reward. It’s wooftastic fun.
There are lots of new & exciting products available that can offer a number of difficulty levels. You can use something as simple as a Kong or ball stuffed with treats to more elaborate devices that require several problem solving steps. Suzie Q prefers a Kong stuffed with treats. She doesn’t seem to understand my puzzle game.
You can also put food to work for you by making your dog hunt for it. Hide small treats of food in the house for your good dog to “hunt.” Initially, make the treats very easy to find. As your dog gets better at this game, practice hiding the food in more difficult spots.
Of course a Knotty Toy can be fun on these long days. Hide your good dog’s Knotty Gnaw or Knotty Chaw Chaw & then ask them to find it. When they do, make a big deal out of it & give them a treat & engage in play with the Knotty Toy. The first few times make it easy so they understand the game. As the game continues make the search more challenging. Always reward with a treat, praise & lots of enthusiasm.
Nothing makes a good dog happier than when our humans take the time to work on communication skills. A pawfectly fun way huMom & I do this is by going through my routine which is a variety of commands we have worked on over the years. To make it more stimulating we have added a new command, crawl. Doing this strengthens our bond because the foundation of all good relationships is good communication skills.
At least one daily walk with your dog is important but they might grow bored of the same route, especially if it’s a shorter than usual walk due to the cold. Try to find time for several short walks & regularly change up your route so that your good dog can experience new stinks & sights. Keep life interesting.
It’s often difficult to work time with your dog into your hectic daily routine. If you’ve got a busy schedule, consider a doggie daycare. If possible come home for lunch & spend time with your dog. A professional dog walker, another family member or trusted neighbor could also spend time with your dog while you toil in the salt mines.
A final reminder, be sure to always monitor your dog when she/he is playing with a toy. Most dog toys are built to be safe, but dogs can eat anything & that can quickly turn serious (& costly!).
CEO Olivia ❤
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