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As moms, we are well aware of keeping our kids entertained. However, have you ever thought about how to keep your pets from getting bored? Like humans, animals can suffer from depression, anxiety, and stress – and like their owners, it’s up to us to ensure that they are happy and healthy. This means that in addition to checking that our pets get enough physical exercise, we also need to ensure they get enough mental stimulation during the day. Here are some ideas for how to provide mental stimulation for pets.

How to Provide Mental Stimulation for Pets

Just as physical activity is beneficial for the body, mental activity is beneficial for the mind. This is as true for cats and dogs as it is for us! In the same way that children can begin to exhibit bad behavior if they’re bored, so can animals.

For example, you might find that if your pet doesn’t get enough mental stimulation, they may start to engage in attention-seeking or other types of unwanted behavior, such as scratching the furniture or barking excessively. 

If your pet is exhibiting such behavior, it’s wise to take them to an Easy Vet Clinic to ensure there isn’t another reason. Once you know it’s boredom, you can focus on keeping their mind active to help them become happier and healthier.

In addition to checking that our pets get proper nutrition, love, and physical exercise, we need to make sure we provide mental stimulation for pets.

Ways to keep your pet mentally stimulated

The good news is that there are plenty of ideas out there to keep your pet mentally engaged. Some of these are for when you’re at home with them, and others ensure that they are sufficiently entertained while you’re out at work.

For dogs

  • Walk your dog every day and vary the route you take to keep it interesting for them, with new sights and smells to explore.
  • Take the time to play with your dog, both outside and inside. This is a beautiful way to bond with your pup in addition to entertaining them.
  • Try teaching your dog new commands or tricks.
  • Take your dog to an agility class or a doggy park. Meeting new dogs can also be a great way to keep them happy and engaged.
  • Use food dispensing toys to bring some more fun to mealtimes and make them more mentally stimulating.

For cats

  • Play with your cat on a daily basis as a way to bond with them and keep them entertained. You can use plenty of toys, from catnip-stuffed soft toys on a string to laser pointers, so try out a few and see which they enjoy the most.
  • Leave toys out around the house for cats to play with by themselves when you’re not at home – mix up what you leave out and where every few days to keep it interesting.
  • Set up a spot where your cat can sit by a window to watch the birds in the garden or other exciting activities going on outside.
  • When giving cats dry food or treats, use puzzle feeders to get their minds working during meal times.

Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

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