When most people think of “dog” activities, taking walks, playing fetch, and playing with toys come to mind. What should pet parents do when they discover their dog is not interested in these activities?
Just like people, every dog has an individual personality, and just like people, our pets’ lives will be more enhanced if they can be seen and valued for who they are.
Is your dog a cuddler instead of a chaser? Make a date to sit and hold your dog while you watch your favorite show. Physical touch is both comforting and stimulating to their minds. Combining your own chill time with your dog’s cuddle time can be a win for both of you. Petting and brushing have even been shown to lower blood pressure.
Is food the most exciting thing ever for your dog? A food puzzle may be the ideal activity for the pup who loves to eat. The puzzle process is good for their minds, it forces them to eat more slowly and the rewards last a little bit longer. There are lots of quality, affordable food puzzles available in stores and online.
I once met a dog who would literally jump for joy at the sight of his leash, but after he’d walked about 50 yards, he would sit down and not budge. Walking wasn’t ideal for him, but he loved being outside. Spending time with your dog outdoors - just enjoying the sights and sounds and smells in your yard – could be a great activity for both of you. If your yard isn’t fenced, keep your furry friend on a leash and tethered to you. He’ll even be happy to keep you company while you work in the garden or watch the kids.
When it’s too hot or too cold to spend much time outside, create a space in your home where your dog can look out a window and watch the world go by. It can be stimulating for their mind.
Pay attention to what your dog seems to enjoy and give him the chance to do those things with you. The best gift you can give him is your attention and awareness.