Not keeping your pet stimulated can lead to boredom and excess energy which are two common reasons for behaviour problems in pets. At one point the animals we commonly refer to as pets now had to depend on their fitness and problem-solving ability to stay alive. These days we go to work all day to provide for them (and the rest of the family, of course) and when we do come home we serve them free food in a bowl that has required no effort from them. Sounds like paradise for them, right?
All pets require mental stimulation but It is estimated that most dogs need at least 6 hours of mental activity a day. If they are not provided with an appropriate amount of mental stimulation they will become bored come up with their own, which can often lead to all sorts of behavioural problems, including destructive and obsessive behaviours.
By mentally stimulating your pet, you can:
- Burn off extra energy your pet may have by exhausting the mind as well as the body
- Reduce stress levels
- Help with separation anxiety
- Introduce healthy behaviours and calm emotions in puppies and kittens
- Improve mental stamina now and in old age
To keep your pet stimulated they need both physical and mental exercise. Mental exercise is not hard to accomplish-try hiding treats around the house, playing hide-and-go-seek, teaching a new trick, or making a play date with another pet. You may just see a change in your pet’s behaviour for the better.
- Using a wobbler or puzzle feeder to feed your pet as opposed to a bowl and have them work for their meals.
- Instituting a dinner time routine such as a special command, handshakes, high fives and more and mixing it up each meal.
- Playing nose-work games where your pets hunt out treats, Easter egg style, around the garden, in the house or their enclosure.
- Teaching your pet the name of their toys and asking them to hunt for specific toys around the house or find it in a stuffed toy box.
- Create an obstacle course in the back garden with climbing, jumping and running points to truly flex their mental & physical muscles
If you spend time with your pet learning things beyond the usual, you help them expand their mental energy through problem-solving and keeping them stimulated. And it will help increase their understanding of the world, what you say to them and their confidence.
Some of the ways you can use fillable food toys to their best advantage are:
- Putting them to good use on rainy or busy days as a supplement to a routine
- Using them to ward off separation anxiety by giving them to your pet as you leave for the day. Not only does it distract your pet, it also lowers their stress levels by creating a positive association with your departure.
- As a reward after a positive walk or training session
Keep your pets stimulated, to view our full range of products to help with this issue visit our store.