Caring for Your Dog’s Mental Health
Guest Blog by Explorer, Evie @springer_beau_foxred_tilly
As part of Dog Furiendly’s Mindful May campaign, we thought it would be great to share some tips about how to keep your pooch’s mental health in tip-top condition*.
When you love your dogs as much as us (which I’m sure you all do), you will do anything to ensure that they are as happy and as healthy as possible, so not only does this include their physical health but also their mental health. Over the years, I have learnt that every dog is different, and has different needs in regard to their mental health, but we have a few top tips that should help to keep them in shape!
* We are not trained professionals, we can only say what we have learned through our own dogs and experience. Please do not take any of the following advice as a professional opinion.
This may seem an obvious one but giving your dog regular exercise. Certain dogs need more exercise than others, and some dogs may need a little less, however they all need exercise. Taking your dog out for a regular walk allows them to have new experiences and keeps their brain active. Alongside this, it is important to take them to new places for their walks as well.
I know that walking around the same patch day in, day out can become boring and feel more like a chore than fun, so it can feel like this for your dog too. Taking your dog to a completely different place means that your dog has loads of new sniffs and exciting new things to discover, this means that their brains are very active and it helps them to maintain positive mental health.
Enrichment games are a great way to promote positive mental health in your dogs. There are a variety of different enrichment games that you can use with your dogs, but a few that you could try are licki-mats, snuffle mats, hide and seek with a toy. All of those will help your dog keep their mind active and to prevent boredom. It is important that your dog has these experiences as it helps them to develop skills, which they may otherwise not use. Helping to prevent boredom, is great for your dog and you, because if a dog is bored it can lead to them developing other less desirable behaviours, whereas if you keep their brain active and stimulated, they are less likely to develop these behaviours.
Getting comfy with your pooch.
Our human lives can get pretty hectic and sometimes looking after the dog is something that needs to be done rather than what you want to do, however dogs do not understand why sometimes you have more time to spend with them than others, so it is important to spend some time just hanging out with your dog, whether that be going for an adventure or just cuddling up on the sofa. As much as cuddling or petting a dog is good for our mental health, it is also good for the dog’s mental health, as they feel the love that you are giving them and this is sure to promote positive mental health in your dog.
Share your tips with us!
Although these are just a few things that can help to promote doggy mental health, they are important. If the dog is happy, you’re happy- am I right?
I hope that this blog has helped you to take some time to think about your dog’s mental health, and what you might be able to do to help promote it. Remember, we are not professionals in this topic so please do not use this as professional advice.
We’ve popped 5 of our favourite DIY games together in this printable, for you to pop on your fridge and play with your pooch. These games can be created with things you can find around the house.
Although we are not trained professionals, we have got plenty of experience and all of these enrichment games work wonders for dogs and helps to stop boredom and keeps their brain healthy! Without stimulation, dogs can become bored, anxious and distressed! By just giving your dog one or two of these enrichment games you can help to promote their mental health!
Please ensure that your dogs are supervised when using any of the above enrichment games!
Share your tips on caring for your dog’s mental health below.