Working out a dog means more than a walk in the park
When we think of healthy dogs many of us envision an animal running along with its master on a bike trail or flying through the air grabbing a flying disc at the park. But it's important to remember that a healthy dog also exercises its mind.
Even feeding your dog can be turned into a stimulating, beneficial exercise. That's according to Kari Campbell, the owner of Dog Tired — a dog daycare in Anchorage.
"You can take a handful of kibble and throw it outside on the grass in the summer time or throw it on the floor and the dog literally has to hunt up each piece of food and that may take them 10 minutes to eat their meal which is 10 minutes of mental work they're doing," she said. "Things like that, that mentally challenge the dog versus physically challenging them will benefit them in the long run, and benefit you."
Campbell says mental stimulation can wear a dog out much faster than physical exercise. Taking your pet out for a scent walk is a great way to tap into both forms.
"When you go out and you're walking your dog people just kind of keep pulling along. They stop they want to smell something, they're like 'come on, come on,' but what a dog gets from that stimulus of scent is very, very interesting to their brain. They're processing so much," she said.
Campbell says they see a lot of "high drive intelligent dogs" come into the daycare. Even as puppies, many breeds need early mental stimulation and in some cases — a job.
"The more they play, you know, they get good exercise," she said. "It's good mental stimulation as well."
At Dog Tired, the goal is to send the dogs home like the name says — tired. At the end of the day, Campbell says the dogs shouldn't be worn out from stress, but from good and healthy play.
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