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Why Mental Exhaustion is Good for Your Dog

by Dennis ODonnell on April 29, 2020

Mental exhaustion does not have positive connotations when it comes to the human existence, synonymous with being drained and over-worked.  But believe it or not, it is something that is great for your dog!  You’ve heard the phrase “a tired dog is a good dog,” and it’s true!  However, it’s not just about wearing her out physically – it’s about mentally tiring her, as well.

It’s Their Nature

Many breeds have a “work ethic” ingrained in their nature, reinforcing this notion.  (Think hunting, herding and guarding dogs.)  But even breeds not meant for work have the instinctual desire to keep busy with mind-engaging activities such as digging and chasing.  If not given an outlet for her instincts, she may become anxious or frustrated, leading to behavior problems.

It Keeps Them Sharp

Puzzles, training and games will mentally tire your dog as well as engage her problem-solving skills, keeping her mind bright and active.  One simple way to do this is with a PAW5 Feeding Enrichment tool like the Rock N’ Bowl or Snuffle Mat, which allows her to problem-solve her way through mealtime!  (Pro Tip: Try hiding it somewhere different every day to really keep her guessing!)

It Grows Your Bond

Activities that get your best girl thinking are those that are most fun for her and will increase the time you spend together, endearing you to her even more!  Just think about how nuts she goes when you fill her Kong in a different way or introduce a new game – she loves to be mentally challenged! 

All well-adjusted dogs enjoy a combination of mental, physical and social stimulation (and lots of love).  Incorporating mental exhaustion into your dog’s routine, in addition to daily walks and other physical activities, will help her sleep, reduce the urge for “bad” behavior and enhance her overall well being and longevity.  Engaging her brain is truly a no-brainer! 

Looking for fun ways to mentally tucker out your pup?  Here are some to get you started!

Water Fun for Your Dog – Easy to Difficult – perfect for summertime!

8 Ways to Break Up Your Dog’s Boredom

The Tee Shirt Tie Up


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