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  • Writer's pictureVickie Foster

Ways To Keep Your Dog's Brain Healthy

Just like humans, a dog needs mental stimulation to stay healthy. Read about some of the vet-approved activities to keep your dog’s brain happy and active. No matter your dog’s age, your furry friend needs mental stimulation to stay sharp and at his best. Keeping his brain active and alert will mean a longer mental life for your pooch. Here are some activities that will help.

  1. A sense of control - To properly enrich your dog’s life your four-footed pal needs to have a sense of control over his life. It can be very boring for a dog when you decide when to go for a walk, when to eat, when to play. Instead let your dog make some choices. If he acts in a playful mood, let him have a rousing playtime. When giving dogs exercise, be patient and let them choose where to give their attention to sniffing an interesting spot. Allowing your pet to have some choices increases the sense of stimulation he will experience.

  2. Use your “doggie voice”- Studies have shown that dogs respond more to a human voice in a higher pitch such as when you speak to a baby. Focus your attention on play, food and going out to capture your pooch’s attention.

  3. Unleash your dog - Find a place such as a dog park, or a fenced backyard to let your dog roam and explore off-leash. Let him run free. Encourage him to chase a ball or roll in the grass.Having this free time is a great brain-booster.

  4. Sense of smell - a dog’s sense of smell is so much more powerful than ours. Letting them use that sense gives them a real treat. You can start by not rushing them on a walk. Just let them sniff to their hearts desire. You can also do scent work by using a snuffle mat or food puzzle. Play hide and seek with treats and let that canine nose find it. Your dog will get a stimulating nose workout that boosts his brain power too.

  5. Teaching new skills- Teach your dog new tricks or train him to do a new behavior. It is a boost to his well-being and feeling alive. You can teach an old dog new tricks also. Just be extra patient as hearing and sight difficulties may mean that it takes longer. Of course, have yummy treats ready for rewards.

Follow these tips to boost your dog’s brain to Einstein levels or at least to be more alert and alive.



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A dedicated organization that provides service dogs to veterans and first responders living with PTSD at no cost to the recipient. In addition, the New Life K9s prison rehabilitation program educates and trains incarcerated men to become dog handlers and puppy raisers for potential service dogs entering the program. If you wish to learn more about our mission and ways to help visit

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