Simple Mental Enrichment Activities for Your Dog

The challenges of keeping your pup engaged and stimulated during the winter is real, and that's why we've put together a list of simple mental enrichment activities to help your pup's cognitive development and to beat the 'winter blahs'!

Cold temperatures, shorter days, and inclement weather can force us and our dogs indoors, leading to boredom and pent-up energy. Mental enrichment activities help our pets beat the ‘winter blahs’ and can keep their instincts in tip-top shape! We’ve compiled a list of simple but stimulating mental enrichment activities you can do with your dog this winter to keep their brains sharp and their tails wagging!

1. DIY Icy Lick Mat:

Find a durable plastic food container, your pet’s favorite goodies, water, and a freezer! Place some pet-safe fruits or vegetables in a container and fill the bottom with water. Let this freeze overnight, and your dog will have a blast discovering how to uncover the hidden treasures. Licking this chilly delight will help them expend energy while challenging their problem-solving skills.

2. Sensory Scavenger Hunt:

Engage your dog’s senses with an indoor scavenger hunt. Hide TLC biscuits and kibbles or their favorite toys around the house and encourage your furry friend to find them. You can make it more challenging by placing the goodies inside puzzle toys or wrapping them in old blankets for a delightful game of unwrap-and-reward.

3. Teach an ‘Old Dog’ New Tricks:

One of the best ways to exercise your pet’s brain is to teach them a new trick or command. Not only do pets love working hard for positive reinforcement, but the energy spent learning new tricks will tucker them out and help them avoid the ‘zoomies.’ Some perfect tricks/commands to teach your pet inside are: stay, shake-a-paw, drop it, or you may even want to teach your pet how to put away their own toys! 

4. Indoor Obstacle Course:

Set up a mini obstacle course using household items. Create tunnels using chairs and blankets, set up low jumps with broomsticks, couch cushions, or pillows, and encourage your dog to navigate the course. It’s a fantastic way to keep them active and mentally stimulated without venturing into the chilly outdoors.

5. Brush Them/Pet Them:

Did you know that positive touch also counts as mental stimulation? Give your pet all your attention and shower them with pets, belly scratches, and a freshly brushed coat. Any form of interaction with you will help curb their winter boredom! 

Don’t forget to watch your pet closely during all the boredom busters! Find us on social media and share your own mental enrichment ideas.