How to Keep a Dog Stimulated

Regular activity will keep your dog happy.
i dog playing with red ball image by Paul Retherford from

Keeping your dog stimulated is important for his mental and physical well-being. An under-stimulated dog will start looking for ways to occupy himself, and you may not like what he chooses. Digging, howling, chewing and compulsive licking and scratching can all originate from boredom.

Step 1

Take your dog for daily walks. Switch up the route if possible to keep him interested in his environment.

Step 2

Add structured games, such as tug of war and fetch. These games enhance bonding between you and your dog and also provide additional activity.

Step 3

Invest in at least one puzzle-type toy for your pet. Puzzle toys allow you to stuff treats inside and then the dog must work to get his reward. These toys will stimulate his mind and keep him occupied.

Step 4

Train your dog to perform tricks. You may not see the need for him to play dead, roll over or perform any other stunt, but spending a few minutes each day teaching your dog something new will keep him stimulated and eager to learn.

Step 5

Visit and host friends with dogs. Play dates aren't just for children, dogs can have a great time playing together. Make the introductions slowly, and use common sense when selecting a play partner for your dog. Introducing your rambunctious puppy to your friend's elderly dog probably won't work, but if you have a friend with a generally friendly and well-mannered dog, meeting regularly for play dates can be beneficial to both dogs.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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