mental and physical stimulation for dogs can help keep them happy and healthy.
Dogs have been bred for a variety of purposes over the years and consequently
most dogs have the desire to do ‘work’ or complete tasks. Whether
this ‘work’ is playing fetch, guarding the house, or digging
in the backyard a dog needs a combination or mental and physical activities.
Frequently, behavior problems start when a dog is bored, lonely, or lacks
enough exercise. High energy breeds such as labs are particularly susceptible
to behavior problems such as barking, chewing or digging if they do not have
enough physical or mental stimulation.
It is good for dogs to go outside and play or exercise at least twice
a day. Playing with your dog is one of the best ways to keep him happy.
This helps with both physical and mental stimulation and increases the
bond between pet and owner. Exercise is a fairly obvious need, as with
people, exercise keeps a dog healthy and strong and at a healthy weight.
Consequently, this can ward off potential health problems. Mental stimulation
can be a less obvious need, but is also important. This can be achieved
with play, learning tricks, or even training to become an assistance or
therapy dog. Also there are games such as agility or flyball that are good
in keeping a dog mentally and physically stimulated. Choosing a proper
toy can also help a dog stay interested even when spending time alone.
Toys that allow treats to be put inside can create a challenge for a dog,
and are often great toys for dogs that spend time alone. This type of toy
will often keep a dog occupied for extended periods of time. Engaging your
dog mentally and physically on a daily basis will help keep him healthy
happy and reduces the risk of behavior problems.