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WhirLocal Salem

(116 reviews)

222 Commercial St NE PMB 2303
Salem, Oregon 97301
503-877-1330


Ensuring that your dog is happy and healthy is probably one of your top priorities. To that end, keeping your dog mentally stimulated is vital.

What are the best ways to do this? Giving your pet opportunities to do lots of chewing, learning tricks, and exploring are three easy things that get the job done.

1. Chewing

The simple and natural act of chewing gets your pup’s brain working. It takes singular focus and concentration; in a way, chewing is a form of canine meditation.

So make sure your buddy has ample options. Consider getting unusually shaped chew toys, as they require more brain power because your dog must navigate different edges and angles.

Instead of purchasing run-of-the-mill options, think about visiting your local pet shop. They often have fun, unique toys and can give you advice on which work the best—or don’t work at all. They may also have a variety of puzzles or lick mats to keep your pet occupied.

Remember to keep an eye on your dog when they are chewing, as pieces of their toy or chew can break off and become a hazard.

2. Learning Tricks

Does your dog understand basic sit, stay, come, and lie down commands? That’s a great start! But if you really want to keep your canine’s cognitive function in optimal shape, try teaching them a variety of tricks.

Not only will it boost your pup’s confidence and keep them occupied, but working on commands strengthens your bond and improves their impulse control.

Which stunts should you start with? Popular options include:

  • Weaving between the legs
  • Shaking paws
  • Rolling over
  • Taking a bow

3. Exploring on Walks

Walks rank among the best parts of your dog’s day, and letting your pup stop and sniff when out for a walk is a great way to get their brains revving. It’s both physical and mental exercise for your dog.

Dogs that spend more time sniffing, digging, and surveying their outdoor surroundings are calmer at night. This is a great perk if you live in a multi-unit building, are leaving your dog alone at home for a few hours, or just want to have a relaxed evening.

In some ways, dogs are just like us: Mental stimulation keeps their brains happy and healthy. A pup’s breed will dictate its ideal stimulation needs. For example, border collies require a lot more activity than dachshunds. Generally speaking, however, make sure your pooch gets at least two 15-minute activity periods a day.

What are your favorite ways to get your pup’s gears turning?

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