Ask Dr. Tory: Does My Dog Need Mental Stimulation?

by Sundays

Turns out that a little nose work can go a long way when it comes to entertaining your dog.

Sundays' co-founder and Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Tory, answers your top questions on all things dognothing is off limits so be sure to check back!

Question: Does my dog need mental stimulation? 

Answer: Believe it or not, mental exercise is just as important if not more important that physical exercise. Some dogs that can go all day and never seem to get tired, actually do tire out from more mentally-challenging activities.

What is nosework?

Nosework is the act of a dog using their natural ability to detect scent through activities where people hide small amounts of food or treats in a controlled area and then dogs hunt for their reward. Concealing the food instead of just giving it to them engages dogs in a mental capacity that simply doesn't happen when they are served their bowl or handed their treat. 

Nosework games for dogs can become especially handy when you find you have less time for walks or trips to the dog park. Dogs get to smell a bunch of new scents while outdoors exploring, so providing them an outlet to sniff around indoors can make up for some of that lost time outside. 

5 Nosework Games for Dogs

Here are a few simple nosework games to keep your dog mentally stimulated for those times when going for another walk outside isn't an option: 

  1. 1. Hide pieces of Sundays around the room before mealtime so they have to "hunt" for their food.

  2. 2. Put pieces of Sundays into interactive puzzle toys or use interactive feeders instead of traditional bowls.

  3. 3. Make your pup guess which hand you're using to hide a piece of Sundays. Repeat a few times!

  4. 4. Put treats in all or some of the little holes of a cupcake tin and cover the holes with different toys/balls.

  5. 5. Make a DIY enrichment box using an old box of Sundays and some Sunday pieces and let your dog shred away until they find the goods. 

Try Healthy, Easy Sundays