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Young girl lying on bed with dachshund appearing to read a book together

It’s that time of year – temperatures are slowly dropping, vacations are ending, and children are headed back to school. But the kids aren’t the only ones that can benefit from a little higher learning. Our dogs and cats are naturally inquisitive and great learners, so engaging them in ways that encourage mental stimulation can both increase their quality of life and strengthen your bond with them!

Spaniel patiently awaits instructions from owner with clicker

Basic Training
No one likes being bored – that includes your pets. Dogs and cats will look for things to do and if you don’t offer them constructive opportunities, they’ll often end up finding destructive ones. Especially with dogs, investing the time in proper leash training and good walking habits helps your canine to focus on a task in front of them. As a bonus, you’ll gain confidence in their ability to be well-behaved when you go out together. Depending on your cat’s personality, you can even take your feline friend on walks using a well-fitting harness.

Also, contrary to the adage, you can teach an old dog new tricks. In fact, both dogs and cats are capable of learning tasks and tricks through clicker training. Combined with small, low-calorie training treats and patience, clicker training can yield pretty impressive results and give your pet the attention and stimulation they crave. If you’ve never tried a clicker, there are great tips online for starting out. You can check out the clicker options we have - and like new pencils and backpacks help kids get in the right frame of mind for a new school year, grab a new leash, harness, and treats for your pet and start their new classes today!

Playful cat popping out of green tube playing with feather teaser toy

You know the saying – “all work and no play…” Well, we don’t want any dull pets, so ample play time is definitely on the day’s agenda. But they can still learn even during play, especially if you choose stimulating, interactive toys. Keep your pet’s mind active with toys like puzzles that contain treats. Available in many different styles, these toys reward learning and persistent play with small treats that keep your dog or cat coming back for more. Toys like teaser wands, laser pointers, and chasers are great ways to keep your cat’s interest and help them stay active. Take a moment and think through your pet’s personality and how they like to play now and you’re sure to find a fun and interactive toy from our collection that will be the perfect fit for their next playtime.

Rough collie catching frisbee in mid air

Gym Class
Gym, P.E., Phys Ed – whatever you called it in school, it was likely a favorite subject for many of your peers, so it’s little surprise that your dog loves physical activity, too! Taking some time to get outdoors and get some fresh air and exercise is not only physically healthy for your pup, it’s good for their (and your) mental health, as well. Organized play with an outdoor toy like a disc or ball can trigger some of the innate traits of your dog’s breed like catching or retrieving – and today’s dog toys are made not only to help withstand the rigors of use, but with you in mind, as well, making it even easier to enjoy time with your pet. Giving your dog the opportunity to have the space to run, play, and just be a dog is essential in keeping their spirits up and fighting off the doldrums. With the right toys, you can help them be themselves and enjoy even more of their life as part of your family.

Let The Natural Dog and Nature’s Emporium help you keep your pets' minds active and sharp with the proper tools and toys!

Shop the collection online or visit us in store for even more options!

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