Brain games is one of our ways as humans to keep our mind sharp. Learning new things is another because every time we learn something new, we create new neural pathways in our brains, which can improve cognition and even repair damage. Have you ever wondered if your pet needs such mental exercise? Do our pets need such kind of stimulation and for what reasons? With Pet Barn today, we learn why our pets actually do require mental stimulation and how to achieve that.
The Importance of Mental Stimulation for Pets
In most cases, pets’ owners focus more on physical stimulation and forget about the mental one. However, the importance of the latter should not be taken lightly and here are some of the reasons why.
- When Pets are mentally stimulated, they are less bored, happier and more satisfied.
- When pets are not mentally stimulated, they channel their energy into unwanted behavior such chewing.
- Mental and physical exercise should go hand in hand, when one is ignored, the result is destructive, restless, hyperactive and attention seeking behavior.
- Mental stimulation reduces stress in your pet and improves mental stamina now and at old age.
Ways to Give Your Pet Mental Stimulation at Home
1. Teach your pet a new trick
All pets love getting treats and snacks, but, without stimulation, this can quickly turn into a boring routine. To avoid such a scenario, teach your pets new tricks and offer them these treats.
Both cats and dogs love learning tricks, especially if food follows. In fact, learning new tricks helps your four-legged friend stay mentally stimulated in the house. When your pet is mentally stimulated, he gains confidence and focus better.
2. Try interactive play
You can buy your pets many toys but this should not replace your interaction with them. Both cats and dogs enjoy playing fetch and tug of war, as few examples. Go for it and do not deny them the opportunity to build a bond with you while they are being mentally stimulated.
3. Make an obstacle course for your dog
Obstacle courses are a great way to stimulate your dog physically and mentally. It is not as difficult as you think. Actually, you do not need professional equipment or a large space to build it. Instead, use the furniture and stuff you already have at your home, such as: chairs, blankets and toys.
4. Play hide and seek
In addition to playing fetch, you can play hide and seek. Hide treats and toys around the house and let your pet search for them. By doing so you stimulate your pet’s senses and give them some form of physical exercise at the same time.
5. Give them access to light and a window
Clearing a space for your pet by a window will allow him to watch what is happening outside. Your pet will watch other animals, changes in the weather or cars and people passing by. This mentally stimulates your pet but you need to keep an eye on him. If your pet becomes restless, he may be experiencing anxiety and frustration at not being able to go outside. If you notice this behavior, you may need to change tactic.
A lot of evidence and research suggest that a mentally and physically stimulated pet is happier and healthier. You need to know your pet and observe his behavior and then you will notice the difference mental stimulation does. Even when you have to stay at home for any reasons whatsoever, you can find ways to stimulate you pet. In this blog, we mentioned a few examples. Also, do not forget that some mental stimulation exercises give you a great chance to build a stronger bond with your pet and try it now and enjoy such a chance.
If you liked the methods we suggested, you could tell your friends who have pets about them or probably share this blog on your Facebook page so that they can read it and enjoy it themselves.