Keeping Your Pet Mentally Stimulated: Five Ideas to Try
Owning a cat or dog is a huge responsibility. It's like taking care of your own kids, where you need to provide for their food and shelter and, of course, schedule regular checkups with, depending on where you live, a veterinarian in Staten Island
But more than physical health, it's also crucial to pay attention to your pet's mental stimulation to ensure that it stays happy under your care.
Now, if you don't know exactly what to do besides taking your cat or dog for a walk in Staten Island, here are five cat and dog enrichment ideas for you to try:
- Introduce new challenges.
Try to look beyond the usual toys you see for cats and dogs because there are many good options that will help promote mental stimulation. Ask your veterinarian in Staten Island for some suggestions or browse through your favorite pet shop for products that you don't have at home yet. Treat dispensing toys are especially useful for mental stimulation since pets have to solve a puzzle or figure out how to retrieve their reward, which helps keep their mind busy. You can also use things around the house, like a cardboard box with a ping pong ball inside that your cat will surely find entertaining.
- Make time for your pet.
Like humans, pets also need your time and attention, so set aside 15 minutes of your day to spend with them. Staying the entire day indoors can become taxing for cats and dogs, so allocating time in your daily routine to give to your pets will make them look forward to that time of day when they have your full attention.
- Shake things up now and then.
Cats and dogs tend to get bored when you do the same thing with them constantly, like taking the same route on your morning walks or letting them play with the same old toys. So, now and then, try to shake things up by surprising your pet with a different route to experience new sights and smells. You can also create a toy rotation to keep your pets from getting bored and save yourself from buying new toys often.
- Go on a picnic.
Spending time outdoors is not only a fun way to shake up your pet's routine but also an excellent time for you to break away from the same environment. Picnics are always exciting, and you can do this for free at a local park or in your backyard if you don't want to go far. You just have to set up a blanket, bring a box of toys that your pet can enjoy, feed it some treats while trying to teach them new tricks and have a great afternoon together.
- Enroll it in an enrichment course.
Now, if you don’t have a lot of time to spend with your pet or you just want to hone its skills further with the help of a professional, it would be smart to let your pet join a training club where courses like nose work, agility and following commands are offered. Some of these exercises that you can also do with your pet on your own are hiding their favorite treat under a cup and letting them find it with the use of their nose only, as well as hiding it somewhere else for them to find. This way, you don’t only promote better enrichment to your dog, but you’re also teaching it important life skills that will help you both in the long run.
Of course, there are plenty more things to do with your pet to help with their mental stimulation, but these are a few easy ideas to do if you don’t know where to start and don’t have a huge budget. To learn more or book an appointment for your pet’s care, make sure to contact Staten Island Veterinary Group today!