A mentally stimulated dog is a happy dog.  Whether you have a senior couch potato, a bouncing baby pup, or a big mutt, mental stimulation has so many benefits.  Yes, you can run around the block, you can swim in the lake, hike in the forest, but mental stimulation vs. physical stimulation is an another aspect to keep your dog happy and healthy.  Without mental stimulation, your dog can become depressed and destructive.

Is your dog bored? Have they had their way with the Persian rug? Or did they prefer a nosh on the legs of the kitchen table?  Perhaps they needed to investigate the inside of the couch cushions?  These are the go-to for a bored and soon-to-be destructive dog.  Keeping your dog’s brain stimulated is key to keeping them happy and relaxed. Plus, your house will thank you! Here are 5 fun ways to keep your dog mentally stimulated:

Chew On That

dog eating bone

As a dog mom or dog dad, you learn early about dogs and their shoe fetish. Not your Air Jordans.  And please not the Manolo’s.  Making sure your dog has the proper chew toy is an easy way to keep them stimulated. Of course picking a long lasting chew is important. When a dog chews for an extended period of time it has a soothing effect on the brain.  Consequently, stress levels are lowered. As opposed to when you give your pooch a delicious dog cookie (although delicious), the stimulation is over and done within one swallow.

Here are 15 best long-lasting chews for your dog!


dog nose

Did you know that your dog’s nose can smell 10,00 to 100,000 better than your nose?  Inside their nose, there are 300 million smell receptors compared to a human who had only 6 million.  The area of the dog brain that detects smell is 40 times bigger than yours.

A fun and mentally stimulating game for dogs is to play “find it.”  Grab a shoe box and hide yummy treats under the box.  Bring your dog into the room and tell them to “find.”  Then stand back and watch your dog become mentally stimulated!  As their skill levels increase, you can hide the treat in a box inside a box!

Doggy Push Ups

exercise dog

Dog lovers try this “workout” with your pup. This mental stimulation activity is especially good with younger dogs who are always learning. First, ask your dog to sit.  Then, ask your dog to lay down.  Finally, ask them to stand.  Do this process several times and not only are you getting some good training in, you are tiring them out at the same time.

Toy Time

dog with puzzle

Giving your dog an interactive food toy to play with is great for their brain.  Some toys are harder than others and you may have to work up to the puzzle level on these interactive dog toys.  There are so many different toys, you might have to acquire a few to see which one works best.  The treat dispensing toys are also great to slow down fast eaters!

Here are 25 best interactive dog toys!

Pop It

dog and bubbles

As a kid one of the most memorable and fun experiences was chasing bubbles.  Blow bubbles for your dog and stand back and watch how he chases them.  This is a great mental and physical activity that your dog and kids can do together.

Of course you can make your own bubbles with dishwashing liquid.  But have you heard about the clever idea of bacon and peanut butter flavored bubbles?

Here are safe, non-toxic flavored bubbles for dogs!