Help Your Dog Get Excited to Explore – in Your Backyard!
Dogs do very well with a routine but it’s nice to incorporate new experiences for them as much as we can. These are all low-cost and easy ways to turn your backyard into a sensory playground for your pup.
Understanding the Importance of Sensory Exploration
Sensory experiences are a bigger deal to dogs than we sometimes realize. After all, how they get acquainted with different sights and smells are at the allowance of their pet parents.
Taking your dog on long walks is always a fantastic idea but for pets that struggle with feeling nervous or are working on behavior issues, the backyard is always a great alternative.
Learn how to turn your own backyard into a wonderland for your dog with our tips below.
If you have dogs, you likely have a fence; fences are the perfect spot to hang planters with various dog-safe herbs and plants so they can experience the smell of new foliage! Some great examples from Good Pet Food Kitchen are: mint, basil, milk thistle, parsley, oregano, rosemary, and thyme.
Dogs have roughly 300 million olfactory nerves so having new things to smell can’t be underrated in terms of a great activity. Dogs’ intense sense of smell means they also use smell to tell time – crazy, we know. They can differentiate differences in growing versus dying plants and even if insects walked on which particular petals.
Yes, we all like to pet and snuggle our dogs. But have you considered the factors of touch that go beyond belly rubs?
Dogs are typically exposed to the same surfaces for walking: those found in the home (hardwood, tile, carpet), the sidewalk, grass, maybe sand and a handful of others.
It can be an interesting experience for them to try walking on a bouncy surface like a trampoline or a scratchy one like sandpaper. Occasionally creating areas that they can explore new textures at their own leisure is another way to keep them engaged in exploration.
Different or unfamiliar sounds are intriguing to anyone, dogs included.
Something as easy as playing sounds from YouTube while your dog explores the yard or basks in the sun is another easy way to stimulate their senses.
Consider where you live, a city for example, and play sounds that your pet may not regularly hear: sounds of the beach (seagulls, waves, etc.). If you live in a house with only adults playing sounds of children playing or laughing can be a great way to familiarize them with new sounds.
Encouraging your pet to explore the world around them and letting them earn treats for explorations well-done are kind of a no brainer.
Another great idea for a Sunday afternoon is making a BarkCuterie board. If you love treating your dog to new foods then making a board for them full of new snacks could be right up your alley.
You might have noticed we left out “sight” but sight is involved in all of the sensory categories! Try out ways to incorporate sensory exploration in your own home today, it’s a great opportunity to be creative and your pup is sure to thank you!