Bored puppy by Matthew Foulds on Unsplash
Bored puppy? Try some fun brain games! Photo by Matthew Foulds on Unsplash

How to stay sane during lockdown: three fun brain games for you and your pup

For many, staying motivated and productive in lockdown can be very difficult at times, particularly when the days start to become repetitive and tedious. However, it’s not only humans that are struggling to cope, in fact, without mental stimulation, our pets can become restless too.

To prevent dogs getting lazy and suffering from boredom during lockdown, it’s important to introduce new games to keep them motivated. A variety of short mental exercises that include a combination of tricks and games are particularly beneficial. Helping you both stay stimulated and encouraged to have a more productive day.

Teaching your pets new tricks and games will improve your focus, whilst keeping your pet’s mind active through learning. In fact, just twenty minutes of mental stimulation for your pup is the equivalent of an hour of exercise in terms of the enrichment it provides to their mental health.

The expert team at digital pet insurance company, Waggel, share how you and your pet can stay sane during lockdown with these three fun brain games:

Hide and Sniff

A brilliant way to create some fun for you and your pets is to play on their sense of smell through scent training games.

First, ask your dog to “sit” and “wait” whilst you hide one of their favourite treats around the house. Once you have hidden the treat, let your dog see if they can find it!

Your dog will find the hunt for their treat both fun and challenging so remember to let them enjoy the treat as a reward once they have found it.

Scent training games like these are particularly beneficial for your dog, as sniffing not only helps dogs make sense of the space around them but also provides a lot of mental stimulation which will keep the brain healthy in the long term.

Head down

Dogs love to earn their treats and impress their owners by learning new and rewarding commands like this.

In this brain game, you should slowly lower a treat the ground and your pup’s head should then follow the movement as it gazes at the treat. As soon as their head touches the ground, give them the treat whilst using the command “head down”.

Over time, you can challenge your dog’s self-control by increasing the time period. See how long you can get your dog to keep their head down before giving them the treat.

Hide and Seek

Another fun game you could try to play is hide and seek! You hide, they seek.

Find new and quirky places around the house and call for your dog to come find you. You will soon be greeted by an enthusiastic pup wagging their tail in excitement as they reunite with you.

Having time to break up repetitive days with a fun game like this will allow you and your dog a chance to relax and enjoy your downtime together.

And those are the three brain games for you and your pup to try. Let us know if they help you! To learn more about productivity and your pets, read Waggel’s Zine issue on productivity.

This guest post has been kindly written for us by Waggel. Waggel is a modern, digital pet insurance company who aim to make pet ownership as stress free as possible, starting with super simple to use and easy to understand insurance. They only offer lifetime policies so that any condition that occurs at any point in your pet’s life, will be covered. Waggel also allows you to choose your own excess and level coverage to suit your budget so that there are no surprises or worries for you, your pet, or your finances.