<iframe src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-PK9D66" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden" title="gtm-frame"></iframe>4 Ways to boost your dogs brain power | Agria Pet Insurance
03330 30 10 00
Get a quote
My AccountGet a quote
Get a quote

Back to Guides and advice

4 Ways to boost your dogs brain power

The old adage ‘use it or lose it’ seems to be as true for our dogs as it is for us, and while our dogs can’t do online puzzles or crosswords, we can make sure we continue to train them within the limits of their physical abilities, teach them new skills and give them problem-solving exercises to keep them thinking and exercising their grey matter.

Forget that ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ – in fact a dog who has had a lifetime full of learning opportunities will be just as adept at mastering a new skill as a younger one with fewer learned behaviours to call on.

Brain games for older dogs enrich their lives, prevent boredom, and give us a way to interact with our veteran canine companion in a fun and stimulating way. 

Games in the house

Engage your dog’s brain with interactive games. Many of these don’t involve leaving the house and so you can give your dog mental puzzles to solve without tiring his body. These can be as simple as hiding treats inside an old toilet roll for him to shake out to more advanced search and sniff games.

Interactive toys

There are many interactive toys on the market – from Kongs that your dog can chew to remove treats (although these may be too tough for older teeth) to treat dispensing balls that can be easily rolled, or snufflemats that can be used to hide treats and even meals. Make sure all toys can be played with lying down so your dog isn’t standing for long periods or for when your dog needs to rest.

Games on a walk

You can play hide and seek games or lay scent trails with treats for your dog to follow – but be aware that you may need to keep him on a lead so he doesn’t wander off, especially if his hearing isn’t as good as it was.

Use your nose

While sight and hearing can fade in older dogs, their sense of smell seems to be more robust – and nearly every older dog seems to be able to sniff out a smelly treat.

Watch the video below to find out about Cindy, the rescue senior Jack Russel, in our Age Amnesty video.

Article written by Agria's Behaviourist and Trainer, Carolyn Menteith

About the Author

Carolyn is an accredited behaviourist and trainer with over 20 years experience working with dogs and other companion animals. She has written books, over 500 published articles and trains owners and professionals alike both nationally and internationally. Carolyn is also an experienced broadcaster and presenter, has appeared in five TV series’ and countless radio shows. Her passion is for helping owners build a strong and positive relationship with their dogs and fully develop the potential of the bond between them.

More articles from Carolyn Menteith

Share this article:

Previous article

Is my dog getting enough exercise

Next article

Preventing and treating overheating in dogs

Related guides and advice

Follow us

  • Cookie policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • UK tax policy
  • Terms and conditions
  • Modern slavery statement

For UK customers:
Agria Pet Insurance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Services Register Number 496160. Agria Pet Insurance Ltd is registered and incorporated in England and Wales with registered number 04258783. Registered office: First Floor, Blue Leanie, Walton Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP21 7QW. Agria insurance policies are underwritten by Agria Försäkring.

For Jersey customers:
Agria Pet Insurance Ltd is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC). Ref: 0001498. Registered office: As detailed above.

For Guernsey customers:
Clegg Gifford Channel Islands Limited is licensed by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. Ref: 2722221. Registered office: Admiral House, Place Du Commerce, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 2AT.

© 2024 Agria Pet Insurance Ltd. All Rights Reserved.