Exercise your pets mentally as well as physically!
When most people think about exercising their pets, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely… walkies! In actual fact, there are so many different ways we can stimulate and exercise our fur-friends.
Making them work for their meals is a great way you can mentally stimulate your pets and it doesn’t take up too much time. I often feed my spaniels using our hand-made snuffle mats – they love these! I initially began by just sprinkling biscuits on top so they get the idea. Gradually, I would make it harder by wedging treats in the bottom or even tying treats up in the strands. The idea is they have to ‘snuffle’ to find treats or their food. In the summer you can use the mat outside and peg the snuffle mat into the ground! Snuffle mats aren’t just for dogs we’ve got customers that use them for cats and even rabbits!
Training is a fantastic way to mentally stimulate your dog and really helps improve your bond with them. Obedience training is a beneficial place to start and then you can slowly progress to fun tricks like ’touch’ ‘spin’ ‘hi-five’ etc! Get creative with this!
Teaching your pet the names of their toys is lots of fun too! You can work towards giving commands such as ‘find Charlie Chimp’ or ‘seek Stevie Star’. Lexi is a pro at this game! Also, a good one is teaching them to tidy up their toy basket… easier said than done, Baxter much prefers emptying his basket! Rotating toys helps to keep things new and exciting for your pets.
Things you can easily try at home include hiding treats under plastic cups and moving them. Then letting your pet choose which cup the treat is under. A similar thing can be done with treats and tennis balls in muffin tins. Hide some treats under some tennis balls and allow your pet the opportunity to discover which balls are hiding a treat!
This is only a few suggestions that you can try at home. Enjoy being creative with this and feel free to share any new ideas with us!