Dogs needs a certain amount of physical activity every day. Both physical exercise and mental exercise are important. A fun way for dog owners to stimulate their pup's brains is through puzzle games. They can help your dog in a number of different ways.
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Investing in interactive puzzles such as ones that dispense dog treats can be a good idea. Here are some ways in which puzzle games help your dog with problem-solving puzzles — that your pup will enjoy.
Slow down the pace your dog eats with a puzzle
Does your dog eat too fast? Puppies tend to especially have this problem. If your dog isn't eating at a normal pace, they could get indigestion or throw up. One of the methods for addressing speed eating is by putting some kibble in a dog puzzle toy. Then, your dog will have to work for their food while playing a fun game.
Puzzles can help with separation anxiety in dogs
Many dogs experience separation anxiety when their owners leave the house. They may engage in destructive behaviors like chewing on objects, damaging furniture, getting into the trash, and going to the bathroom in the house. But, if they have a puzzle, they are less likely to cause trouble. Get your pup a dog puzzle toy to keep them occupied and make sure they stay calm when you're gone.
Combatting dog dementia with puzzles
One of the ways to fight off dog dementia is by giving your pup a dog puzzle toy. An enrichment toy will help him exercise their brain because it allows your dog to engage in problem-solving as well as deeper thinking. If your dog is showing signs of dementia: barking at nothing, suddenly going to the bathroom in the house, or sleeping at random times — a puzzle game could be good for them.
Puzzles can address boredom in dogs
When your dog is left at home alone or they are not getting enough physical exercise and mental exercise on a daily basis — they are going to get bored. Bored dogs sometimes become destructive because they don't know how else to relieve themselves. Giving your bored dog a puzzle game will ensure they have something to do and make it less likely that they will engage in destructive behavior. Puzzles can also provide a chance to play hide and seek with treats and learn a new truck.
Brain games for dogs and puzzle levels
There are different levels of difficulty when it comes to puzzle training games. A level one puzzle game might have fewer compartments. It will be less complicated than a level four game. You can start with a level one game and see if your dog can solve it. Or, you can give him a Kong toy treat ball filled with peanut butter and see if they can figure out how to get to it. Some dogs are going to be better at puzzle games than others. Some dogs also just need some time to figure them out.
DIY puzzle toys for a dog's mental stimulation
You can make some DIY puzzle toys at home before purchasing a puzzle game. For instance, you can take a muffin tin, put treats on the bottom, and then place tennis balls over the treats. Keep some slots empty to add to the challenge.
Another idea is to put lightweight boxes or cups over your dog's treats. Then, your dog will have to knock over the boxes or cups to get to their food. Once they get the hang of the game with only a few boxes or cups, keep adding on more. You could also take a tennis ball, cut it open, and place treats inside – kind of like a Kong toy. Watch as your dog paws at the ball and attempts to retrieve the treats.
Food puzzles for dogs
Treats are a big motivator for dogs, which is why puzzle games often include food. However, when using treats, you'll need to be mindful of the number of calories your dog is ingesting every day. This is especially important to consider if your dog is overweight. If you rely on treats too much, your dog may only get motivated when there is food around. Or they could become sick from overeating.
You can always put healthy treats in the puzzle games or simply put their kibble in there that they need to eat routinely. If you're doing any other kind of positive reinforcement training, only rely on treats until your dog has gotten the hang of the trick or command. After they are trained, you can use praise to make them feel good and behave well.
Puzzle games are great for keeping your dog mentally stimulated, relieving boredom, addressing separation anxiety, and much more. Make sure you are careful when it comes to food puzzles and you give your dog a challenge that they can actually accomplish. Then, you'll know you are contributing to their health and ensuring they are happy.