Anyone who has ever owned a puppy can say: puppies have ENERGY! Sometimes, it seems like never-ending, boundless energy. The takeaway of this fact is that puppies need an outlet for all that energy to create a happy, healthy, well-rounded companion. The importance of playtime for puppies cannot be overstated. Dogs are natural investigators, and play expends energy while fulfilling their exploring desires. Dogs are also smart, curious problem-solvers. This combination leads to a need for not only physical but mental stimulation. If not provided with adequate stimulation and puzzles to conquer, they will find it on their own…frequently in places they shouldn’t! Dogs need diverse and continual opportunities to expend both mental and physical energy. While it is dog-dependent, on average a puppy needs between two to three hours of physical and mental stimulation daily.
Dogs that have the opportunity to play are generally happier, more emotionally stable and calmer than those who do not. Playtime allows for a suitable outlet of energy that would otherwise go to less desirable occupations. Bad behaviors such as chewing, digging, stealing, jumping, anxiety and aggression can stem from the buildup of energy that lacks an appropriate outlet.
Physical expenditure of energy is more straight-forward to satisfy. Doggy daycare, playdates, long walks, or an invigorating game of fetch can release a large amount of a puppy’s energy. Mental stimulation can be a harder goal to attain. With this in mind, we have begun to carry a variety of mentally stimulating toys and games for our canine companions. Playing with this type of toy allows for a safe and appropriate outlet for curious energies. If we do not give them something fun to satisfy their active minds, they will inevitably find their own “toys” to play with, such as your shoes, furniture or baseboards. By supplying our dogs with safe and interesting toys we can help to avoid potential problems (destructive chewing behavior, stealing inappropriate objects). Adequate mental stimulation can also contribute to decreasing other behavioral issues such as barking, unruliness, anxiety and aggression. A physically and mentally drained dog is too tired to be badly behaved! Stop by our reception area to see the fun new options for our canine friends!