Mental Stimulation For Blind Dogs


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Play The Find It Game

Puppy Training: Dog Tricks and Mental Stimulation | Petplan

Weve found that most dogs adore the find it game – especially if theres food involved! While you can play this with toys and have just as much fun, its definitely one that works well with a few of your dogs favorite treats.

Start by picking a snack that they like, perhaps a few pieces of cubed cheese or sausage. Get your dog to sit and wait while you move to another room to hide the pieces of food. Next, come back to your dog, say find it and watch as they run off in search of their snacks.

Youll want to follow them into the room and as they find each piece, say good boy or good girl and then repeat the command find it so that they know theres another piece of food still to find. At the end, you can say all gone to signal that the game is over.

Slowly Introduce The Unfamiliar

Blind pets can feel more vulnerable around strangers or in unfamiliar environments. One of Bundocks biggest challenges with Stevie was getting him comfortable with new people. Initially, he was overwhelmed even when one new person would visit her apartment and would retreat to his safe space. Now Bundock tells guests to talk to Stevie and let him approach them on his own terms. It took awhile but now he understands its not threatening.

Introductions to other animals also should be done slowly. Here, too, you can use sound to help your blind pet compensate. Bundocks dog and older cat always behaved appropriately with Stevie, but her younger cat, Darla, was more intense, she says. So she put a bell on her high-energy youngster, providing Stevie with an audible warning when Darla was nearby.

Because blind pets can be easily startled, you should talk to them before you touch them, says Bauer. If your pets hearing is also impaired, you can alert him to your approach by stepping a bit heavier or tugging his bed gently before you pet him. It kind of shakes them awake a little bit, says Bauer. You can also put a little piece of food in front of their nose and let them wake up that way.

Play & Interact With Your Dog

Playtime is one of the best ways to give your dog a brain workout! All dogs have a natural instinct to play its encoded in their DNA from the time theyre born. Play develops key hunting and survival skills essential for the continuation of the species .

Fetch and tug-of-war are an excellent place to start, but your dog might get bored with them at some point. When you want to step it up, you can try teaching your dog hide and seek. Have them sit and stay, then find a place in the house to hide. Call their name and reward them with treats when they find you!

You can also switch it up and try a scavenger hunt. Start by hiding a treat with a very obvious smell somewhere in the house. Let your dog find it and reward them with praise when they do. Once they get the idea, you can gradually make the hunts harder by hiding less obvious treats and toys and adding more items to the search. Pro tip: your dog will love scavenger hunts even more if you involve multiple members of the house in the game.

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Other Fun Activities For A Sightless Dog

At first, the world can seem very overwhelming to a blind dog. Your role is to provide reassurance and comfort and to make sure that they feel loved and safe. You also need to take steps to help your pooch regain their confidence and to feel empowered. This will involve teaching them new skills, and fun activities can be very useful for this. Here are a few ideas.

Toys And Games For You And Your Blind Dog

Turnaround Strategy Treat Game for Dogs

Just because your dog cant see doesnt mean that she cant have fun with you: There are plenty of games and toys that are perfect for interacting with your blind dog.

Treats through interaction: The Buster Cube is one toy that is ideal for blind dogs.

Because a blind dog relies so heavily on smell and hearing, it will be helpful to select toys that activate those senses.

Dawn Rehus, a certified pet training instructor, recommends trying Hide and Seek with your dog. Hiding at close perimeters and slowly expanding is not only a fun game, but also teaches your dog to come, Rehus explains. You can also hide small treats and let your dog use his sense of smell to find them.

Several treat-dispensing toys are on the market, which are perfect for blind dogs. The Buster Cube can be stuffed with treats, and when your dog interacts with the toy, treats fall out for him to enjoy. Similarly, Kong toys are also great for scent games. Fill the inside with peanut butter or any treat your dog loves and he will be occupied for hours.

Scented toys are great for engaging blind dogs in playtime. Jolly Critters Dog Toys are vanilla scented, making them easy to locate in find it! games with your dog. Just be sure and select non-toxic scented toys.

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Spend More Time On Interactive Play Sessions

Whether its picking up one of the best rope dog toys and engaging in a game of tug of war with your pup or choosing from amongst our favorite indoor games for dogs, spending more time playing with your canine companion is one of the best ways to provide them with the mental stimulation that they need. And as a bonus, it will help strengthen your bond too.

Make An Obstacle Course For Your Dog

Even if you have no experience with dog sports, you can set up an obstacle course at home to give your dog more mental stimulation. Use whatever you have on hand to create an enticing set up for them to navigate around and through.

For example, make a tunnel with a blanket slung over a few kitchen chairs, move a small footstool to the middle of the room to use as a jump and place a line of books on the floor for them to walk around.

You can also try this in the back yard with other items like low benches and tomato stakes. When you start using your imagination, youll feel mentally stimulated too!

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Dog Tornado Interactive Treat Puzzle Dog Toy Blue

The Dog Tornado level 2 interactive dog puzzle from Nina Ottosson is the ideal toy for bored dogs and will keep them occupied for hours! This intermediate level toy features three tiers with twelve compartments for dog snacks or kibble. This mentally stimulating and entertaining dog game encourages your pup to spin the interactive puzzle tiers to reveal the rewards three bone shaped covers can be used

Types Of Engaging Toys For Blind Dogs

Robot guide dog could help people who are blind navigate

Even though you have a blind dog, you dont want his physical impairment to infringe upon his fun. After all, hes still the same spunky guy youve always loved. Just because he cant see so well, it doesnt mean he isnt as high energy as always. You want to make sure, above all else, that he has a full and happy life.

If you have a visually impaired pup, what are some of the best toys for blind dogs? By learning about your poochs condition and then finding the right toys for him, you can guarantee that hell get his energy out and stay healthy and active.

Heres some information on blindness in dogs, as well as recommendations for what kinds of new toys you can get him.

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Hide & Seek With Treats

Similar to how youd play at home, you can also play hide and seek at the dog park with treats or a favorite toy! This is a great way to get some physical exercise and a great option if you dog walk with friends or have a particularly social dog. We recommend trying this after youve already played at home to get the most out of your time at the park.

Brain Games Are For Everyone

Interactive toys for mental stimulation for dogs are like obstacle courses for your dogs brain. They tire them out at home just as much as a physical agility course!

Exercise your dogs brain! Remember that dogs and cats have four legs and one head, and all five need exercise in different ways daily. When you bring mental enrichment activities into your dogs life, they are happy and healthy in the long run.

Always supervise and dont let your dog chew any removable parts.

Check out all of the above interactive dog games, cat puzzles, squeaky plush toys, tennis balls, tug-of-war toys, the Outward Hound Hide-a-Squirrel squeaky toy, and more for your furry friend at our website, Amazon, Chewy, or your local pet store.

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Let Your Dog Explore Outdoors

This goes beyond taking the dog outside for physical activities like walking and jogging.

You should also let your dog use its senses to observe and explore its surroundings.

A good place to do this is at a secured dog park. You can let your dog go off-leash and relate with its environment.

During a normal walk, it is more advisable to keep your dog on a leash as that would stop curious ones from darting off in an opposite direction. Recall training helps too.

Besides walking, jogging, and a visit to the park, an activity that gives your dog a chance to connect to nature is hiking.

This isnt suitable for all dog breeds, but energetic ones will appreciate the long trek.

Ensure you have all the necessities packed up before you move.

Interaction With Other Dogs


Dogs were descended from wolves, which were inherently pack animals. This mindset has unerringly flowed through the course of evolution, which is why socialization has been seen to deliver many benefits to canines. Bringing in another canine can help.

For example, dogs that are solitary are typically more inactive , compared to only 4-5% of inactive time when group-housed with other dogs . Separation from littermates can also result in distress vocalizations, where the presence of a littermate can reduce the vocalisations by 50-90%.

Dogs use play as a means of establishing relationships with other dogs. Dogs can also derive social information from observing play between third parties. In fact, social play in puppies plays a role later in life in setting up the social organization of adult dogs .

For dogs in a group, socialization requires a combination of learning, competition and cooperation. Oftentimes, chase and tackle play results in role reversals, indicating that dogs are able to equalize their behavior to maintain a playful atmosphere. Self-handicapping is also a dogs way of communicating playful intent.

Physical contact with other dogs may not even be necessary. Visual contact with other dogs housed in adjacent cages can provide great mental stimulation for dogs and decrease yawning frequency and time spent lying down.

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Let Your Dog Sniff & Explore On Walks

Getting to go for a walk is one of the most exciting parts of your dogs day. You can give them some more mental stimulation by letting them stop & sniff around some more. Its true that walking is great physical exercise, but for dogs its also about exploration. Sure you may have walked down your road a million times now, but that certainly doesnt mean theres not new & exciting smells for your dog to check out everyday.

And if youre not comfortable with letting your dog lead you around on walks you can designate certain areas or times for free sniffing. Just teach your dog a cue such as go sniff and let them explore for awhile. Youd be surprised at how much more tired dogs are after a walk that includes exploration & sensory enrichment rather than just walking a straight line.

Next time youre out walking with your dog remember that they analyze things in with their nose, not just visually. Give them a few moments to explore & take in all those exciting smells.

Another Perfect For A Visually Impaired Dog

In addition to all the toys we have mentioned above, here is another item you may want to consider for your visually impaired dog.

This is an interactive training mat that offers your dog some great stress release and mimics the hunt for food they would have while in nature. The Snuffle Mat is a nose work sensory mat, perfect for any visually impaired dog.

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Signs Your Dog Isnt Getting Enough Mental Stimulation

  • He digs excessively in the backyard.
  • Your neighbors complain that he barks all day while youre gone.
  • He chews on anything and everything in the house.
  • He gets into the trash constantly.
  • Hes gaining weight.
  • He follows you around constantly when you are home.

Behaviors like these often crop up with a bored dog.

You might think he just needs more space, but even zoo animals in huge outdoor enclosures develop problematic behaviors from boredom called stereotypic behaviors.

So how do zookeepers and pet owners combat our furry friends boredom?

Enrichment and mental stimulation!

Mental Stimulation Vs Exercise: Whats The Difference

Fidget Spinner for dogs? absolutely! Mental stimulation for dogs -America’s Canine Educator

Dog owners understand their pooches need daily exercise to remain in good physical condition. A long and healthy life depends on keeping fit and ensuring that muscles, joints, heart, and lungs are in good working order. But if you think active physical play and walks are the only exercise your dog needs, youd be mistaken.

To truly thrive, dogs need exercises for their mental muscles as well. You may not think of these as exercises, but they have some important health benefits, just as physical activity does. And, both pursuits can tire you pup out in their own way.

For added benefit, see if you can incorporate a little mental stimulation into physical exercises. You probably already do this to an extent if you like to explore different outside environments with your dog.

Try mixing things up by taking your dog with you for a paddle in a canoe or on a hike through the woods. Even walking with them in a new neighborhood, rather than taking them on the same old boring route, can make a difference.

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Bt4d And Mental Stimulation Toys: A Match Made In Heaven

BT4D is an online dog training program put together by Adrienne Faricelli, a renowned dog trainer with CPDT-KA certification. The program not only helps with dog training, it also comes with a variety of brain games which will help improve your dogs mental faculties leading to an overall well-behaved dog.

The program will help your dogs brain to become more open and receptive to learning new information. Plus your dog will now understand what youre trying to tell him even more.

And combining the toys recommended above makes everything way easier. below are some of the mental stimulation youll come across the program:

  • Magic carpet game

And a lot more

BT4D is full of surprises and benefits, you just need to try it to experience it. Learn more about BT4D here.

Teach Your Dog Some New Tricks

Youll find that most pups absolutely adore learning new tricks and if you keep a few tasty dog treats on hand, theyll be extra motivated to master them! Spending around 10 to 15 minutes each day teaching your dog to perform tricks is a wonderful way to offer both fun and enrichment.

If your dog isnt yet able to retrieve toys, or they retrieve them but wont hand them over, this can be a great place to start. Practice throwing a ball or other toy and then saying the word fetch and pointing in the direction of where the item is. Once theyve picked it up, say come and when they reach you, issue the command drop.

There are plenty of other tricks you can teach them too. With some treats beside you, use the command nose to get them to touch their nose to yours, the word paw to get them to put their paw in your hand, or twirl to get them to turn around. Give them a treat and lots of praise each time they complete the trick.

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Nina Ottosson Dog Twister Puzzle Toy

Nina Ottosson puzzle toy is a mentally stimulating puzzle toy that helps keep your dog occupied. The dog toy makes it challenging for your dog to find the treat. The treat will be hidden inside treat compartments, and the dog will have to simply open the compartment and access the treat. It keeps your dog occupied for hours.

The game makes it interactive and exciting. It will stimulate your dogs brain cells and keep him focused. Doing this activity enhances the relationship between you.

The difficulty level can be made harder by locking the blocks with bone-shaped pegs. It is considered a challenging puzzle, but most dogs figure it out.

Nina Ottosson puzzle toy is made of plastic, making it easier for cleaning purposes. However, hidden treats must be taken out to clean the toy.

Game is mainly recommended to be used for smaller breeds. It is made of polypropylene plastic making it light, and the toy weighs about 1.25 pounds.

This fun challenge must be performed under your supervision. Do not keep the puppy unsupervised because dogs sometimes chew the blocks and choke. However, another benefit of this game is that it does not contain any removable parts. Therefore, none of the pieces come out quickly, making it safer for your dog.


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