How Pinehurst Pet Owners Can Support Their Pets, Through Exercise & Mental Stimulation

Supporting “Moore” Pets, Through Mental Stimulation

It’s puppy & kitten season! And honestly, what Moore County pet parent can say no to bringing home an adorable new fur-baby? We sure can’t! Find out, in this month’s pet blog post, how Pinehurst pet owners can help support their new pet through regular exercise and mental stimulation.

What Physical Exercise Does For Your Pet

Regular physical exercise affects everything from our metabolism, to our mental health. Nearly every animal needs regular levels of physical activity in order to stay healthy. Our pets are no exception.

Here are just a few things that regular physical exercise does for your pet:

  • Helps Your Pet Lose, Or Maintain, Their Weight
  • Triggers A Healthy Metabolism
  • Helps Maintain A Healthy Heart, Along With Healthy Blood Pressure
  • Can Build Endurance (great for planning that hike with your dog!)
  • Releases Endorphins, Aiding In A Healthier Mental State
  • Provides Your Pet With Mental Stimulation, When Done Correctly
  • Helps Build, Or Strengthen, The Bond Between Pet And Owner
  • Helps To Reduce Stress Levels
  • Helps Reinforce Positive Behaviors Such As: Potty Training, Proper Chew Behaviors, Proper Scratching Behaviors, And Good Litter Box Habits

More Than Simple Weight Maintenance

While the first thing people think of with exercise is weight maintenance, there are many other factors that regular exercise affects. Through regular exercise, conjoined with proper diet and regular veterinary care, you can even help increase the overall life expectancy of your pet.

Do you want to carve out time for your pet’s daily exercise, but just keep coming up short on time? YPCC has been providing pet sitting, dog walking, and enrichment care visits, since 2017. Give us a call, today, to see how Your Pet Care Connection LLC can help provide your pet with their daily dose of exercise!

What Mental Stimulation Does For Your Pet

If physical stimulation does all that, why does your pet need mental stimulation too? Most of us have heard the buzz word “mental stimulation”, but what does that really mean? To understand the importance of mental stimulation in your pet’s life, let’s consider an analogy.

You’re getting into golf. Your golf instructor wants you to build up a bit of athleticism, to help improve your drive. So you go home and practice, every day, honing your stance and building up muscle to add emphasis to your swing.

After a month, you go back for another one-on-one with your golf instructor. To your dismay, you can now hit for distance like a champ..but it’s a skulled shot every time. 

So, what on earth went wrong? You improved your driving distance, through muscle training, but you didn’t consider the mental aspect of the game. You went through the physical motions, but you turned your brain off and didn’t think about your shot. And as a result? Your golf swing wound up incomplete.

Are Your Pet’s Habits “On Par” With Their Daily Needs?

Your pet’s exercise, through daily walks or runs on their cat-wheel, gets to be much the same. Helpful, but incomplete. Only, with pets, they have fewer outlets or options available when it comes to getting the mental stimulation they need. They need you, as their owners, to provide them with the resources and opportunities they need to make that happen.

Pets know they need that extra component to their “golf swing”, but don’t know how to get it. That’s where you, the golf instructor, come in. You can help your pet realize how they can improve their exercise time, use their tools (ex. toys), and bring the whole game full circle for them.

Your Pet Care Connection can help provide those tools too. Check out our pet enrichment visits, and find out how you can help support your pet even when you’re away playing that golf game.

What Kinds Of Pets Is This Important For?

Knowing this importance of mental stimulation in half the battle, the other half is knowing what pets need it. The simple answer? Everybody! From bunnies and Guinea pigs, to cats, dogs, and even people, mental stimulation is an important part of growth and development throughout our daily lives.

On A Tangent..A Bit About How This Impacts A Young Pet’s Growth & Development

From a young age, animals learn how to do many of the things necessary for daily life. Many of these learned behaviors are attained through scavenging, trial-and-error, and learning by example through their parents and siblings.

For pets, this puts a lot of pressure on the amount of time spent with their mother, and littermates, before they’re weaned. When a pet is separated from their mother and siblings early, before the recommended 12 week minimum, it can stunt their mental growth and development.

While pet parents can simulate this kind of mental stimulation at home, it’s not quite the same. These learned behaviors, that are naturally accrued from observing their parents and littermates, can not be replicated through human interaction. Try as we might, something just falls short when these ”lessons in interactions” aren’t coming from the same species. 

How “Moore” Pet Parents Can Provide Mental Stimulation For Their Pets

The good news is, that they’re so many fun and easy ways that Moore County pet parents can help support their pet through mental stimulation and exercise!

Check out these 5 easy and fun ways, for both cats and dogs, to help support your pet’s mental and physical health:

  1. Sniff-aris (best for dogs only)
  2. Scavenger Hunts
  3. Puzzle Toys
  4. Lick Mats
  5. Snuffel Mats
Exercise & Mental Stimulation, For Pinehurst Pet Parents And Their Pets
Exercise & Mental Stimulation, For Pinehurst Pet Parents And Their Pets

Breaking Down The List: Types Of Mentally Stimulating Activities, For Moore County Pet Owners

Sniff-aris: Whether you are taking your pup on an exciting Sniff-ari adventure, or simply choosing a new walking route, your pet’s walk time is a great way to get both their paws, and their minds, engaged.

Scavenger Hunts: Something as simple as tossing your pet’s food into different areas of a room, and having them go search for it, can help spark both your pet’s interest, as well as their prey drive. You can start easy, and slowly ramp up the challenge levels as your pet starts to learn the game. YPCC’s sitters are trained how to employ these simple and fun games, both during our Pet Enrichment Visits and during extreme weather events, to keep your pet happily engaged and entertained.

Pet Puzzles: Everyone loves a good puzzle, and pets are no exception. Start at an “easy” challenge level for your pet’s first puzzle, and see how far up the brainiac ladder your pet can reach!

Pet Lick & Snuffel Mats: Lick mats, like snuffle mats, provide your pet with a sensory experience that gets those creative juices flowing. Both are highly effective, and highly stimulating, toys that are said to have the beneficial equivalent of up to a 30-min walk.

Both lick and snuffle mats can be used as either a brain stimulating toy, or an interactive way to provide your pet with their daily meal. Simply spread your cat’s canned food onto a lick mat, or ruffle your pup’s kibble into a snuffle mat, and let the fun begin!

Driving It Back Home

Your Pet Care Connection has been providing Moore County pet parents with ways to engage with their pets since 2017. We believe in “Connecting You With Quality Care, For A Well-Rounded Pet”.

Our goal, through both the services we provide and our educational posts, is to help Moore County pet parents better connect, and live harmoniously with, their owners. 

How can you begin building the bond with your pet, through exercise and mental stimulation, today?