1. Teach your dog new tricks
Training is recommended for dogs of all ages as it is a great form of mental stimulation and will also help strengthen your bond with your dog.
2. Use interactive toys
Doggie board games are a dime a dozen these days. You can start off with a fairly simple one and teach Fido how to play with it. Up the ante when you feel he’s getting more and more familiar with the toy. Interactive toys include those that you can hide treats under and requires your dog to move pieces of the toy around in order to retrieve the treats.
3. Use puzzle toys
Puzzle toys, such as treat-release balls, are a great way for you to keep Fido entertained when you’re unable to be at home with him. Simply insert the recommended amount of treats for your dog into the toy and allow him to mess around with it. When played with the right way, the puzzle automatically releases the treats as a reward.
Kong toys are great ways to keep Fido from being bored when he’s alone at home.
This food-dispensing toy sits upright until pushed by a dog’s nose or paw and then periodically dispenses tasty treats as it wobbles, spins and rolls. The unpredictable movement keeps the toy challenging, even for seasoned Wobbler uses.
4. Take a road trip
It doesn’t have to be a trip to Margaret River, but a short drive to the local dog run or dog park provides great mental stimulation, not to mention exercise. This will also help you and your dog to bond as you spend more time together.
5. Make new dog pals
Going to the dog park or dog run is great way for Fido to socialise. Even going on a walk in your neighbourhood gives Fido the opportunity to meet other canines and interact with them. Dogs are curious animals and will relish the chance to meet new faces and environments.
6. Play hide-and-seek
If you’re stuck indoors on a rainy day, a game of hide-and-seek at home is a great way to keep Fido mentally stimulated. Start by asking him to sit and stay, then go find a hiding place somewhere. When you’re ready, call for Fido and wait for him to find you. Remember to offer lots of praise and rewards when he does.
7. Give the dog a bone
Huge bones or rawhide can provide hours of stimulation for your pooch, and will also help to keep his teeth clean. However, this activity should always be supervised in case your dog chokes or hurts himself with a sharp piece of bone.
8. Go Fetch!
Schedule one day a week to take Fido to a huge park and play Fetch. The game provides a great deal of physical and mental stimulation and can be played with a tennis ball or Frisbee. To ensure that your dog doesn’t get bored with the game, try alternating between different games and changing the direction you toss the item with each throw.
9. Play date
Unlike simply meeting new doggie friends at a dog park or on your walks, schedule a play date for Fido and one of his friends. Give the two dogs some time to play outdoors together or take them swimming or any other activity they might enjoy.
10. Pick up a sport
There are a variety of doggy sports available for Fido to pick up. Try flyball, obedience, or agility and see which one he prefers. Not only are these sports fun and engaging for your dog, but they are a great bonding experience as well.