How to Improve Your Dog’s IQ

Did you know that boosting your dog’s stimulation will help your dog age better? Keeping your dog mentally stimulated not only helps prolong his lifespan, but it also reduces boredom and helps relieve stress.  Dogs need mental stimulation to help them develop their neurological muscles and reduce the risk of developing canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS)the human equivalent of Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Stanley Coren, dogs exhibit 3 types of intelligence:

1. Adaptive Intelligence- Adaptive Intelligence takes into considedration the cognitive skills of a dog as an individual and excludes external factors such as common breed characteristics.

2. Instinctive Intelligence- This type of intelligence is based on instinctual inborn factors.

3. Working or obedience intelligence- Breed-specific intelligence is referred to as working or obedience intelligence and is another intrinsic factor.

Since your domestic dogs can’t rely on nature to stimulate his brain, they will rely on you to provide them with mental stimulation.  Here are some suggestions to keep your dog’s mind sharp!

Socializing Your Dog

Preserving your dog’s mental acuity can be as easy as socializing your dog with other dogs and people.

Taking your dog out for a dog walk or to a Pet Store will give your dog the opportunity to expose him to a variety of different scents and sights. You can also research your local meetups to locate dog playgroups. You’d also be surprised to find out that there are a variety of retailers that are dog friendly such as:

  • Petco/Petsmart
  • Lowe’s/Home Depot
  • Barnes and Noble
  • Macy’s
  • Bass Pro Shops

 

Dog-friendly stores

Training

 

Training your dog can be a rewarding bonding exercises that will boost your dog’s cognitive levels. Teaching him essential commands will allow you to trust your dog around other dogs and people. With proper training, your dog can safely roam explore the outdoors and experience natural environments under your supervision.

Treat Puzzles

If your dog has a talent for instantly making his treats disappear, consider placing his treats inside puzzle games to keep them entertained. Puzzle games come in varying difficult levels and though some can be expensive, you can also opt out to build your own.

The following puzzle games will boost your dog’s IQ:

Store Bought Puzzle Games 

Store bought puzzle games for dogs

To receive his treats, your dog will need to spin, rock, or knock over these store-bought puzzle games.

 Dog Feeder

DIY Dog Puzzle Feeder

Simply drill a couple of holes into PVC pipes to create a dog feeder.

Water Bottle Treat Swing

 

This fun DIY seems to have been taken from a wooden tool box, a rod, and three 2-liter bottles.

Treasure Hunt

Take a treat and hide them under paper cups. See how quickly your puppy can retrieve them.

Tennis Ball

tennis ball puzzle game

This dispenser will keep your dog entertained for hours on end.

Cupcake Pan

Test how quickly your dog can figure out how to retrieve his treats with a cupcake pan and a couple of tennis balls.

 cupcake pan

Toilet Paper Roll

 If your dog eats too fast, try hiding his treats in a bunch of toilet paper rolls.

Dog Puzzle Toy Toilet Paper Roll

Nutrition

Feeding your dog with the proper portions and high-quality food will help him remain strong and healthy. But did you know that you could also pair his diet with supplements? Ask your veterinarian for the proper recommendations. Modern Dog Magazine recommends combining dietary supplements with other forms of mental stimulation such as walks, housing with another dog, and training to keep your dog’s mind active.

 The following are Modern Dog Magazine’s dietary supplements recommendations:

Vitamin E: Add supplemental Vitamin E at up to 100 IU per day for a small-breed dog and 400 IU per day for a large dog.  

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a very safe vitamin, usually requiring very large doses before side effects are seen. However, there is little benefit to providing mega doses of this. Try adding 50-100 mg per day depending on the size of your dog

Fruits and Vegetables:Up to 10 percent of your dog’s diet can consist of fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, raspberries, spinach, carrots, and tomatoes

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20 Out-of-the-Box Cardboard Cat Toys that Your Cat Will Love

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