Playful Tips
#Pet Sitter and Pet Sitting playing games image

Engaging Activities and Personalized Attention

Looking to keep your dog mentally stimulated? Try some fun brain games for dogs, or have us work with them to enrich their lives. When you’re home or during a Visit N' Play from our experienced and trained pet service professionals, it is important to keep your dog happy and busy!

Fun Brain Games for Dogs

One of the best ways to keep your dog happy is to play games with him. This creates mental stimulation for him, as well as bonding time for both of you. If you’re looking for some fun new ideas to try with your dog, try one of these mentally stimulating games for dogs:

Find the Treat

This game is a simple one for your dog to learn and only requires a few tasty treats for your dog. Begin by telling your dog to sit and stay, then place the treats in separate spots nearby. Tell your dog to “find the treats,” and encourage him when he picks up each one. Repeat this until your dog understands what “find the treats” means, then begin hiding the treats in increasingly difficult places. Eventually, you can begin hiding the treats around the house for your dog to find, making it an exciting game for him with a great reward!

Food Dispenser Toys

Toys with fillable holes are a great way to give your dog the mental stimulation he needs with minimal effort on your part. Place treats or peanut butter inside the toy and give it to your dog; he’ll do the work to try to get the treats out. These types of toys can also be made at home using items as simple as an empty toilet paper roll filled with cream cheese.

Dog Puzzles

Dog puzzles are another good product to keep your dog busy and happy. While they come in a wide variety of options, they typically have the same goal: to retrieve the reward. One example of this is to use a muffin tin, treats, and tennis balls. Depending on the size of your dog, select a ball and muffin tin size that will fit the ball. Place kibble or treats in the bottom of the muffin sections and place a ball over each one. The dog will need to figure out how to remove the ball to get the treats.

Which Hand?

This game is simple to play and an easy way to stimulate your dog’s brain. Simply place a treat in one of your hands, allowing your dog to watch. Close your hand into a fist, and make a fist with your other hand to match. Hold out your hands and allow your dog to choose whichever hand they think the treat is in. If they paw or sniff the correct hand, give them the treat.

Shell Game

The shell game is a popular one to play with dogs. Select three identical cups, bowls, or other opaque containers and your dog’s favorite treat. Place the treat underneath one of the cups and shuffle them while your dog watches. Allow him to choose whichever cup he thinks the treat is under by sniffing or pawing, and give him the treat if he selects the correct one.

Hide and Seek

Another easy game to play with your dog is hide and seek. Tell your dog to sit and stay, then find a hiding spot where your dog can’t see you. Call your dog, and when he finds you, reward him with treats or encouragement.