Is Chewing A Bone Mental Stimulation For A Dog

Is Chewing A Bone Mental Stimulation For A Dog?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

You can provide your dog with mental stimulation by letting him chew on a raw bone, but don’t forget that there are many other games you can play with him. Keep a new puzzle in Santa’s sack for your dog as well!

The purpose of this article is to explain the “Is Chewing A Bone Mental Stimulation For A Dog?“.

Have you ever offered your dog a raw bone after he just ate lunch dog might jump up and down to get at the bone? Its not because hes hungry hes not hungry but because its fun! Of course theres that irresistible scent as well. Dogs love to chew chewing its a natural instinct for them and it provides many benefits including simulation. 

Is Chewing A Bone Mental Stimulation For A Dog

How does chewing a bone mentally stimulate a dog?

A dogs struggle with a large bone is always interesting to watch the way he keeps changing directions dropping it and picking it up from the other side. For your dog a bone is like a puzzle as he must figure out how to get to the tasty marrow inside.

The bone looks like hes playing with it and he is but theres a logic to everything he does with it. We’ll try the other end. If this part is too big we’ll try the other end.

The bone even smells different than the chow he usually eats which is quite stimulating. Every little bit of meat also makes the taste buds happy and informs the brain of its delicious flavor.

Chewing anything chewable is fun for your dog including the slippers which probably taste awful but at least they smell like you.

Well-trained dogs will sometimes refrain from chewing and destroying objects around the house but they will scratch themselves or lick their paws obsessively until they injure themselves. By chewing on a bone they are less likely to self-harm. 

Chewing raw bones is better than commercially available chewing treats because raw bones are more challenging more unpredictable. Treats from the store look and taste exactly like the ones your dog ate yesterday.

It isnot new at all. He will be able to satisfy his chewing instinct but he would not be able to stimulate his mind. 

Why do dogs need to be mentally stimulated?

Today most dogs we call pets to come from a long line of working animals. The first time man domesticated wolves it wasnot for the company it was for practical purposes.

Their jobs kept them busy from sunset to sundown just like your own. They were used for guarding hunting herding and pulling sleds. 

Dogs were mentally stimulated by the hard work they did every day which kept their brains active. Dogs have to think a lot to figure out where the bird his master just shot went or how to keep sheep in line. 

Its now much easier for dogs because no one asks them to perform any tasks anymore which is nice but boring as hell. In addition a bored dog is likely to find all sorts of destructive ways to entertain himself.

Walking the dog does provide mental stimulation as well as physical exercise but thats not enough for an energetic and healthy dog. 

Mental stimulation keeps your dog’s brain sharp

Without adequate mental stimulation a childs development will be slower than if he receives more parental attention.

Puppies are no different. It is not enough to keep a puppy healthy and well-nourished. The more mental stimulation a puppy receives the easier it will be to train him.

There are certain breeds that love to learn new tricks and you can teach them a lot. Its just a matter of trying.

You will be amazed at the things your dog can learn when you provide him with mental stimulation.

It is also important for older dogs to receive mental stimulation.

Is it impossible to teach an old dog new tricks? You can.

Many owners make the mistake of writing off senior pets because they are less playful less energetic and more set in their ways as compared to younger pets.

Its been ten years since Fido was born. ‘He only wants to eat and sleep.’ Fido might be old but lack of mental stimulation will accelerate the inevitable decline in cognitive function that comes with aging.

To keep him mentally stimulated you need to provide him with some kind of mental stimulation.

What happens to dogs that aren’t stimulated?

Ask yourself why the next time your pet destroys your favorite slippers before you scold them?

Ask yourself if he is really a bad dog before telling him “bad dog.”. There are some instances when dogs will destroy something of yours in retaliation for a real or perceived slight.

Dogs on the other hand often chew whatever they can get their paws on because they have nothing better to do. He entertains himself the best he can when hes bored.

The dog will eventually get tired of waiting while you’re at work and will start looking around if left alone for hours. That slipper looks like it would benefit from a good chew.

Mental stimulation makes a dog happy and prevents him from becoming depressed since pets can suffer from mental health issues as well as humans.

What are some of the best ways to mentally stimulate a dog?

The best way to keep your dog mentally stimulated is to take your dog for a real walk not just a short strictly business walk.

With a long walk your dog will get a chance to meet old and new friends and sniff the ground to get a sense of whats going on.

While walking his brain is stimulated by sights sounds and smells just as his muscles are stimulated by moving his paws. 

As your dog calculates where the stick might end up a game of fetch will also help keep him alert. 

Its unavoidable that there are days when the weather is less than ideal or you do not have the time to walk your dog but there are still ways for you to keep him active at least mentally even when hes inside.

Playing simple games with your pet will keep him entertained while you work. If you give your dog something to chew on he’ll be entertained while you work. Additionally you could benefit from that game as well since playing with your pet is an effective way to relieve stress.  

Mental stimulation games for dogs

Teaching your dog new tricks is the easiest way to keep him mentally stimulated. Toys can be named for instance and you can have him fetch the right one.

Name the toys loud and clear a few times then put them all in a pile at one end of the room and have the dog find the correct one. Of course he will become more interested in the game if you give him a small treat.

You can also play hide and seek with toys although you may have trouble getting your dog to close his eyes while you hide his favorite toy.

Playing hide-and-seek is also fun. Get an old blanket and bury something tasty under it. To find the treat and how to get it the dog will have to use his sense of smell. 

You can play guessing games with your pet but instead of riddles you ask them which hand holds the treat.

Put your hands behind your back and let him see the juicy bit of meat but do not let him see where you’re hiding it. 

Using household items you can create obstacle courses or you can line up several small chairs or boxes and have your dog jump from one to another.

Your dog will not only be mentally stimulated but will also be able to release pent-up energy.

Mental stimulation toys for dogs

Dog owners and dog lovers are becoming increasingly interested in snuffle mats. Dogs love them because they are colorful and they make them work for the food.

With the same amount of food he used to eat in two minutes it now lasts him 15 minutes of fun and helps him release some energy.

The Kong toys filled with treats and frozen are just as good and can keep your dog busy for a long time and when hes done he will be so exhausted that he’ll want to take a nap afterward.

Keeping your brain sharp is easy with puzzle games. If you’re solving a puzzle you can let your pet play with a toy that stimulates his brain in the same way. Dogs can enjoy such toys as well.

The dog thinks about how to make the treat inside fall out of the holes when rolling a toy.

The moving parts in a puzzle feeder will force your pet to twist and turn until they reach the treat. There are also different levels of difficulty from beginner to expert.

It would be good to buy a few different models so your dog does not get bored.

What dog breeds are most destructive?

Some dogs chew more than others but all dogs love to chew. 

Golden retrievers and labradors were originally bred to retrieve birds shot by their owners. Energy is high among them and they just need something to eat. It would not take them long to find something to chew on if you do not offer them a bone.

Border collies miss their herding days on some level which is why they are always looking for ways to keep busy. After they have finished with the slippers they might turn their attention to something larger like your sideboard or couch. This has been known to happen. 

Beagles and Chihuahuas are both small and energetic dogs. Get them out for a walk give them a bone to chew or a puzzle to make them scratch their heads and only then can you hope they would not sink their teeth into your shoes. 


While dogs are intelligent animals it is up to their owners to provide them with mental stimulation. By keeping your dogs brain stimulated you can easily teach him new tricks and train him. Mental stimulation protects older dogs against depression and cognitive decline.

You can provide your dog with mental stimulation by letting him chew on a raw bone but do not forget that there are many other games you can play with him. Keep a new puzzle in Santas sack for your dog as well!

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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