Schools back and everyone is getting back into their work and school routines.
This is good for everyone, but this also means that your pooch has to re-adjust (or adjust if you have a new puppy!) to life at home without the family.
And we all know how much mischief Kevin McCallister got into when he was HOME ALONE.
It’s just as important for you dog to stay mentally active as it is to be physically active, and mental exercises that encourage your doggo to use their brain can be five times more exhausting than the same amount of physical exercise.
Keeping them happy, entertained and ‘exercising’ them when they are home alone.
Why not try out some, or even all of these brain exercises:
1. Treasure Hunt
Simply get some treats, snacks or regular diet that your dog loves the smell of and just before you’re heading out spread these out around your back yard or a room in the house. This will teach them to start utilising their noses to find the treats rather than just relying on sight. Finding the treats themselves is rewarding for your dog and is also super exciting.
2. The Kong
The Kong is a classic treat toy for dogs. Firstly, get your dog excited about their new Kong and show it off and talk about it excitedly. Then take it up a notch by wedging treats into the hole or even smear some vegemite or cream cheese and this will make your dog work for the reward. If this doesn’t work for you, you can fill it up with a mixture of treats and peanut butter and freeze it, making it a longer lasting treat for them to work out.
3. Doggy Ice Treats
Mix three cups water, one cup low salt beef broth, half a cup of doggy treats or normal diet and pour mixture into a few freezer-safe bowls or dishes. Let the mixture freeze for about 30 minutes and then take it out and add a layer of peanut butter and freeze for another 1.5 hours. Then before you head out place the ice block in a large bowl so the dog can reach it but it won’t melt on your floor, or even pop it outside with your dog and let him to enjoy the fun whilst keeping cool.
4. The Muffin Tin Game
This brain game is easy to do and requires things that you probably have lying around the house. Dig out one of your old muffin tins and place some strong smelling treats in a few of the holes. Cover all of the holes with tennis balls or some other kind of toy your dog is interested in, and leave them to figure out how to remove the toys to get to the delicious treats.
5. Treasure Trail
Find any sort of meat or seafood in your house that your dog would LOVE the smell of (eg tuna, salmon, beef). Use the juices to make a trail around your backyard and this will keep your pooch roaming around the grass for hours licking up the delicious flavours. Don’t forget the treasure and make little hard-to-find piles of the tuna or beef as a prize for following the trail.
6. Hide and Seek
Use empty boxes or cartons (like toilet rolls, cereal boxes, egg cartons) and pop a few of your dogs favourite treats inside and fold over or scrunch up so they have to figure out how to tear open or snuffle out. You can close up the boxes a little bit to make it a bit more challenging for them that will keep them entertained for longer.
7. Busy Bucket
To get your dog into a ‘busy-bucket’, take a sturdy plastic bucket and throw some treats at the bottom. Then on top of the treats, put one of their favourite toys in the bucket and fill the surrounding space with a hand towel. Continue to layer and tightly pack the bucket with toys, treats and towels. To make this even better add a big chew treat to the top of it, this will leave your dog to find entertainment amongst the layers.
8. Enroll your pooch in Kalmpets doggy day care
You can enroll your pooch into Kalmpets doggy day care that allows them to have fun, meet new friends, play and learn new things in a safe and enclosed area. With different zones and learning areas, including the home-room, exercise zone, water play area, sensory tool school, agility school and a pups only space. We also do some fun brain and sensory activities like our fluffy four-legged art master class we ran this week!
If you would like to find out more information on how to keep your pooch busy during the day, watch our ‘How to give your dog a balanced day with brain exercises’ video or give us a call on (08) 9240 2228 or email [email protected] to book into the day care!