Why Do Dogs Need Mental Stimulation and Exercise?
As a dog owner, I’m sure you encountered countless times of people advising you to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. Although the statement is very true, it is often limited to just physical exercise and people forget about the importance of mental exercise. In my line of work, I’ve come across many dog owners who complain about having a hyperactive dog. It is a common practice to allow your dog to tire themselves out through excessive exercise or by sending them to a doggy daycare; but what about mental stimulation? Yeah, I know what you may be thinking, “if ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but this philosophy of thinking often just puts a band-aid on the issue and it is only a temporary fix. Not only is mental stimulation beneficial, it is also needed for you dog to have a stress- free life.
There are many parallels between dogs and humans in the area of mental stimulation. Have you ever had a job that required little to no physical activity, but was mentally demanding? If so, can you recall how exhausted you were by the end of day and how your lack of energy didn’t allow you to do anything but relax. Unsurprisingly, the effect of mental stimulation is also true in dogs.
Without physical exercise and adequate mental stimulation your dog may be at risk or even suffer from anxiety related behavioral issues. Several dog breeds require mental stimulation and without it they often exhibit bad behaviors. Incorporating mental stimulation in your dog’s everyday routine is not as challenging as it may seem. For example, you could require your dog to perform the “down” and “stay” command while playing a game of fetch. The act of listening, processing and obeying your commands is a great way for your dog to receive mental exercise while physically exercising.
Buckeye Dog Training can help alleviate your dog’s anxiety related behavior issues with our customized in-home training plan. We will come out to your house and assess your dog and create a plan to help your dog live a more enjoyable life. If you are ready to have a physical and mentally fit dog please call us today at 800.649.7297!