Nothing makes us smile like our dogs when they are obviously happy: there’s nothing quite like a sparkly-eyed, grinning dog to banish the blues! And here are our favorite ways to get our dogs smiling in the summer months… let us know yours in the comments below!
1. Challenge your dog’s mental skills and keep his cognitive functioning sharp! Everyone recognizes the importance of physical exercise for dogs, but it’s equally important to exercise your dog’s brain too, just as it is in humans! Playing some interactive brain games with your dog is a fun way to bond and do something a little bit different and more challenging than the typical spin around the neighborhood, while building connections in the brain and staving off boredom. There are many different kids of boredom-busting toys that require problem solving on the market, including games that require your dog to solve various “puzzles” to retrieve a toy or treat, or you can come up with some of your own, like hide and seek – one variation on this traditional game is to hide some treats all over your house and play “hide and seek”with the treats… or, of course, you can be the hider and challenge your dog to come find you! You can also continue to teach your dog different words: one special dog, a border collie named Chaser, christened the “smartest dog in the world” has learned the names of over 1000 different objects. While your dog might not be able to compete at Chaser’s level, you could certainly try to teach him the difference between a couple of his toys or treats and train him to fetch the one you ask for. Heck, if your dog gets good at this, think of all of the things you could train him to fetch for you: a cognitive game could easily turn your dog into a practical helper around the house!