Brain Boosters for Pets
Our pets don’t have the luxury of curling up with a good book or going out to a museum to help keep their minds engaged.
While we’re at work, having our brains stimulated, they’re often home alone sleeping or trying to find some trouble to get into. Not only does brain stimulation help keep your pet entertained so he doesn’t start finding ways to entertain himself, it also helps keep his mind healthy.
Here are a few brain boosters that can help you encourage some of that brain health in your pet:
Connect Your Pet with the Outside World
Dogs and cats love looking outside, because there’s a world out there for them to see that they don’t get living indoors. If your dog and cat are always inside, make an effort to leave drapes and doors (with screens) open when you can. Place cat condos near windows so your cat can look out at the birds, butterflies, and bees flying around your garden. If your dog isn’t a barker, let him watch the world walk by at the front door.
Change Up Your Walk
Walking the same exact route every single day can get boring—for everyone. Try a different park every few days, or walk down a different neighborhood. Your dog will love smelling all the new scents and it will help keep his mind engaged.
Playtime is a great way to bond with your pet while also keeping him thinking. Getting him toys or games that require him to look for something can add that extra mental challenge. Boxes where your cat must “get” the rolling ball and toys where your dog has to figure out how to get a treat can make great brain stimulators.
Tricks and Training
Training in and of itself is a good way to keep your pet’s mind engaged (yes, cats can be trained too). Once your pet knows the basics of sit, stay, and come, you can keep advancing into more complex tricks. Keep things fun and don’t push too hard if your pet seems frustrated or bored. Take breaks and give lots of praise and treats.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
According to integrative veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker, docosahexaenoic acid in fish oil is beneficial to your pet’s brain. However, because of the high level of toxins in many fish, it’s important to do your research and find a quality omega-3 fatty acids source free of heavy metals.
Antioxidants are another important brain food. They can be found in fresh foods like broccoli, squash, sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables, beef, and eggs.
Help keep your pet’s brain well-exercised and healthy with these brain-boosting tips.