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The Benefits Of Exploration

When was the last time you took your dog on an adventure? Just like their owners, dogs get bored or even restless if there isn’t enough variety in their routine. A leashed morning walk around the block, followed by eight hours of rest and then a quick evening walk, won’t cut it. Dogs need versatility. They need to explore from time to time.

Let's take a closer look at why exploration is so important.

Why Dogs Need to Explore

Whether you take your dog on a hike or to an off-leash park, they’ll be grateful for the chance to wander around. Exploration is mentally stimulating, and dogs that get more stimulation are typically happier.

Exploration also offers dogs a multisensory experience. Take your four-legged friend on a walk through the woods or a nice swim, and you won’t believe the things they see, touch, and smell.

Speaking of smell, this sense is incredibly powerful in dogs and directly impacts their memory. Dogs have 300 million olfactory receptors , while humans have just 6 million.

The scent of damp bark after a heavy rain, the sensation of dirt or gravel beneath their paws, and the visual appeal of running water will get your dog’s mind going unlike anything else.

Exercise Vs. Exploration: A Change of Scenery

Though the two areas are connected, there's a critical difference between the two.

Exercise is directly linked to your dog’s physical health. It involves physical activity and can help with behavioral issues like constant barking or whining.

Exploration can be added to your dog’s exercise regimen, but it’s more about improving your dog’s mental and emotional health.

Dogs enjoy having a sense of purpose—and this is where exploration comes in. By giving them an environment where they can be off-leash, like a fenced yard or the dog park, they can have free reign of the space, take in their surroundings, and find meaning in their daily life.

Basic Necessities for Exploration

Dogs have been our loyal companions for 18,000 years. They thrive in the outdoors and tend to behave better when channeling their ancestors and experiencing everything nature offers.

Walks and playtime are a given, but what about allowing your dog to dip their paws in a lake? How about letting them wander the perimeter of the park, or walk ahead of you on the trail, so they can follow their nose like they were born to do? 

The sights, sounds, and smells of nature will engage your dog’s mind. Exploration will help them learn. It will make them happy and fulfilled.

So, I urge you to give your dog a chance to explore safely, of course. This means making sure your dog has access to:

  • Proper identification
  • Food on longer excursions
  • Plenty of water

By taking precautions based on your environment, you can give your dog the safe and fun exploration experience they deserve. Plenty of play, plenty of exploration, and plenty of love will keep a dog happy, healthy, and well-behaved.

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