A return to school after a long, eventful summer is a great reminder that our dogs could benefit from returning to “school,” too! Just as we’re preparing our kids for full days of reading, writing and math, it’s important not to forget that our dogs require mental stimulation to keep their brain exercised and their bodies happy. Keep reading for tips and tricks on back-to-school training for your dog!
- Offer enrichment games
It’s so important to keep dogs mentally stimulated, and enrichment tools and games are a simple yet effective solution for dogs finding themselves bored now that their human brothers and sisters are back at school. There are plenty of enrichment toys you can purchase at your local neighborhood pet store, but you can also easily make them using items found around the house, too. Egg cartons are a perfect example—stashing a few treats in each egg holder with the lid closed will force your dog to use his nose power to sniff out the location of each treat.
- Teach your old dog new tricks
Our team at ACANA® pet foods firmly believes that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks! It’ll probably be less distracting with kids back in school too, so your dog can stay focused on learning new commands. These don’t have to be anything over complicated—even a refresher on heel, sit and stay can do wonders for mental stimulation, plus the extra time spent together will deepen your bond and overall relationship, too.
- Let your dog stop and smell the roses
We all know that dogs have an incredible sense of smell, so why not let them exercise that sense outdoors? Since dogs use their noses to explore the world, take your dog for longer walks around the neighborhood or hit a nearby trail and give them the chance to sniff and smell all their surroundings, without rushing them. By allowing your dog to smell everything around them, you’re also giving their brains a workout — another great way to keep your dog stimulated.
Back-to-school can be an exciting time for families, but it can also be stressful for our furry four-legged family members to see their human siblings leave them for entire days. Make sure to keep your dog top of mind with lots of enrichment games, opportunities to learn new tricks, exercise and overall time to be a dog so they are not completely overwhelmed with the change. Make back-to-school an event all members of the family can enjoy!