We do puzzles for mental stimulation, engagement, and the reward of completion. It just so happens that dogs benefit from puzzling in the same ways! Dog puzzles are interactive and challenging games that make your canine work for a treat. In fact, they’re becoming extremely popular among pet owners because they do so much than your average chew toy!
In addition to all the wonderful benefits of puzzles, they can provide hours of entertainment for your dog, which can really come in handy when you need to focus but pup wants to play.
Puzzle Playtime was a sparkling staple in our weekly routine at Fitdog. It gave dogs and employees something fun and novel to look forward to each week, and it was always so rewarding when we got to see a shy dog come out of their shell through playing these games. We look forward to resuming that once we’re allowed to open back up. But until then, you can enjoy these puzzle activities at home!
5 Reasons to Try Puzzling With Your Dog
Great for exercising the mind
Dogs need to indulge in both physical and mental exercises daily. While playing fetch takes care of physical activity, it does not provide the proper stimulation for a dog’s mind. Did you know that 15 minutes of mental stimulation is equivalent to a 3-mile walk!
Teaches them new tricks
Dog puzzles allow your dog to participate in activities that they normally would not engage in and keeps them from getting bored and depressed.
Don’t want to find your favorite pair of shoes chewed on? Doggy puzzles are perfect for keeping your dog entertained when you can’t be playing with him or her! Just make sure you are still in the same room, as most puzzles are not chew-proof.
Helps prevent weight problems
The two major causes of weight gain are overfeeding/overeating and low activity levels. Dog puzzles require canines to participate in an activity before receiving food. You can make the puzzle easy in the beginning so that your dog is successful, and gradually increase the difficulty as he figures out how to make the toy work.
Bond with your pet
It’s always exciting when you witness your d0g overcome a challenge! Doggy puzzles strengthen the bond between the two of you as you work them together as a team. Be sure to allocate a specific time to provide a more special experience.
Wondering how you can get started with what you’ve got at home? If you have any boxes lying around, you can get your dog’s brain moving with these 3 Ways to Turn Old Boxes into Games! Or, fill a muffin tin with treats, cover the holes with tennis balls or your dog’s favorite toys and see if you can Beat Brecken!
Interactive brain games not only tire out your energetic dog, but they also defeat boredom and increase your dog’s confidence. We can’t wait for more Puzzle Playtime at Fitdog! Until then, enjoy doing these games at home with your smart pup! You’ll both be glad you did.
Originally posted August 25, 2016. Updated April 13, 2020.