00-00-02-59-31-11-2593111_1176966When you own a dog, you know he or she needs to have medical care, food, and water. Those needs are very basic. However, they also have to have physical activity and mental stimulation to ensure their lives are full and happy.

As strange as this may sound, your dog needs a job.

So many dogs sit at home waiting for their people to get home. While they wait, they don’t have a lot to do. If they get bored, that’s not a good thing. It is this boredom that can cause a lot of unhappiness in a pet and even cause them to be naughty dogs. When they have nothing to do, they are forced to find entertainment and sometimes what they find is not pleasing to their humans.

So here are three ways you can keep your dog happy, active, and well-behaved:

1. Exercise – A healthy adult dog needs to exercise at least 30 minutes twice a day. Swimming, jogging, and playing at the dog park are great ways for them to expend their energy. However, some dog breeds are going to be more active than others. If you have a highly active breed, ask your vet about how much activity they should really be getting throughout the day. If you’re not home as often as your dog needs you to be, it may pay to have a friend or neighbor stop by during the day to engage your dog.

2. Keep your dog busy when he or she is home alone by giving a puzzle toy that is stuffed with food. These chew toys are sold in pet stores and make for a tasty treat. It keeps them busy as they work on getting to the good stuff inside. Pay attention to what your dog enjoys the most and capitalize on that. Look at what toys he or she really enjoys and ensure those toys are always around.

3. Have a play session with your dog that also gets you moving so that both of you can get some exercise. This could involve a jog or a game of fetch. This also allows for some great bonding.

The bottom line is that it is your responsibility to enrich the life of your dog. You can start early and have them professionally trained. You can teach them new tricks that will make their lives better. By providing your dog with opportunities to exercise and have fun, their minds and bodies will remain healthy for the long-term. You also get something out of it because you are enhancing your relationship with your dog.