Ways to keep your dog entertained!

by Abby Tarleton-Hodgson// December 2017

Ways to keep your dog entertained!

Ever thought to yourself,

“I want to buy my dog something to keep them entertained but with the expense of Christmas on the way I can’t afford a trip to the pet shop?!”

Well, don’t worry as there are plenty of ways to mentally stimulate your dog without spending a fortune!

We are going to go through some of the cheapest ways to keeps your dogs busy and entertained! Your dogs will love it and so will your bank balance! Especially if you’re one of those people (like me) who likes to spend way too much money on my dogs!

So first off for the bakers out there, you know that old cupcake tin at the bottom of your cupboard that has seen better days, well don’t get rid of it, use it! Go and dig it out, put some treats in the bottom and then cover with tennis balls! Your dog will have to work out how to move the tennis balls to be able to get the treats out of the bottom. (Tennis balls fit perfectly in a cupcake tin! Must have been made for it!) If you don’t have a cupcake tin, don’t worry, we use old egg boxes in our classes and these still work great!

I think most of you will have seen those treat balls you can buy where your pet has to roll the ball around to get the treats to fall out. These are fab but they are not always the cheapest of things to get for your dog, but no problem, why not use a plastic bottle instead! Put some holes in the side of it, fill it with treats and you have your very own treat ball (Okay, so maybe not ‘ball’ shaped, but you get the idea). Your dog has to move the bottle around in lots of different ways to try and get the treats out.

We are good at recycling here at Dog School-who would have thought how versatile a toilet roll tube could be! There are so many different uses for them when it comes to mentally stimulating your dog! We have made a ‘fun feeder’ in the picture, we have used an old Heros tub (The hardship of eating all the chocolate just to help our dogs out) then we have cut some of our recycled toilet roll tubes in half and placed them standing up in the bottom, popped some treats in and wow is that a fun game for your dog. They get to work out how to use their tongue to get the treats out! Or if you have a dog really good at problem solving then they may just take the toilet roll tubes out….either way, what a good cheap idea!

And you get some chocolates too….

Next up, why not make little parcels for your dog and fill them with treats? Simply fill the toilet roll with treats and then fold both ends in, or try cutting the toilet roll into thin strips and then piece them back together in a ball shape, then you can put treats in and watch your dog have fun playing with their new ball filled with treats! Christmas is coming up, and one of my favorite things is crackers….you could always make your very own dog friendly crackers! Again with your toilet roll tubes, pop some treats in the middle and then wrap them up like a Christmas cracker! Let your dog join in with the festivities and unwrap the best cracker at the table!

Snuffle boxes are so much fun for your dogs, if you don’t mind the mess that is! Any old newspapers that are not used for lighting the fire on these cold evenings can be cut up into long strips and put in an old box, throw some treats in there and watch your dog snuffle to find them! Find out if your dog is a gentle snuffler or a get everything out the box ‘kinda’ dog! Either way, what great fun! (And always entertaining for us to watch too!)

What other low cost mental enrichment ideas can you think of?

Whatever you consider using or making just ensure that it is safe for your dog and supervise them at all times!

Don’t forget that we have classes available for adult dogs, rescue dogs and puppies, why not give us a call to look at getting booked onto a course on 01325 331431 or 01325 331430.

Visit our page, email us at darlingtondogschool@dogstrust.org.uk

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