Do you know what your dog really needs? We all know that dogs need food to survive, right. But is that enough, and everything else is like a bonus for him?
In fact, our dogs' needs are much, much more complex, and even though we may think that food, scratching, walks are enough for them, in reality it is not enough. Have you ever wondered what your dog would do if he didn't live in your family, but in a free environment? If he could make his own decisions, what activities would he choose and how would he spend his day?
🏃♀️ physical movement
🏡 safe environment and sense of security
🐕 the opportunity to do dog things
🧘 calming activity
🤔 the opportunity to make decisions
🦴 Food and the ability to look for food
🐶 a suitable environment for him
When you think about your dog's daily life, do they get all of these needs met? This is probably not a simple "yes" or "no" question, but needs a little more thought to decipher for yourself what they all mean and whether and how much your dog can do one or the other. For example - is a normal walk enough for a dog? Does it meet his needs?
For example, one of Luna's favorite dog activities is digging. He can do this successfully on the beach or other sandy place. If I want to make it even more exciting for him, I hide his toy under the sand and let him look for it. A sense of security is also extremely important to him, so this is always a priority for me when I plan different activities with him. And not just whether the environment is safe for him, but whether he himself feels that it is safe and good for him to be there. It can be very different from what I consider safe. He sees the world differently, and at the end of the day, it's not what I think that matters, it's how he feels.
You too could make it a goal to organize your dog's life in such a way that it really fulfills his needs. Add an exciting enriching activity to his day, for example. For example, an activity where he could use his powerful nose. The easiest thing is always to use food, but maybe you can find another exciting smell for him - an object with the smell of an interesting animal, an interesting medicinal plant (just in case, check first that it is not toxic to the dog), a package that has traveled far and was brought by a courier, etc. Think about how you can connect some other elements to this activity, in which he should also puzzle a little. Just like humans do crosswords or sudokus, dogs want brain work.
A simple version of this is, for example, a cardboard box, in which to put newspapers, treats in between, maybe some of his toys. If you want to make more effort, you can make a whole room for him - you spread out some of his toys, treats under/on top of/in between, you also add cardboard boxes and other items where you can hide treats. This activity is especially good on a rainy day. If you are able to use the outdoor area, in addition to the things mentioned above, you can also create an obstacle course from various stumps, etc., so that your dog can also exercise a little, climb various objects, etc.
We have also shared some ideas on our social media channels before. Follow along: