Feeding time fun!
by Jill Stewart // April 2018
Feeding time fun!
There are lots of different ways you can add some enrichment to your dog's life, and getting inventive with feeding is a really easy way to introduce this - read on for some tips to get those noses working and make dinnertime even more fun!
Many of our dogs LOVE their food
Feeding time is quite often one of the highlights of their day but this can be over pretty quickly if your dog tends to wolf down the food from their bowl in two seconds flat like my own. You can use breakfast or dinner time to try some different ways of feeding their meals to add in some fun stimulation.
We love things like snuffle mats, which you can buy or make at home, to scatter their kibble onto prolonging that meal time and allowing them to use that amazing nose a bit more.
Kongs are invaluable for keeping your dog occupied and entertained for a longer period of time and you can pop your dog’s meal inside one letting them use their problem-solving skills to get the food. Just make sure you’re using an adequately sized Kong for your dog, too small can be a choking hazard and can also cause frustration if the opening is too small for them to really get into.
Things like soft cheese or peanut butter (just make sure to check it doesn’t contain xylitol as this is harmful to dogs) are also great to fill Kongs with for a nice change, and if your dog has already become an expert you can pop the Kong in the freezer for a bit before giving it to them, this will mean it lasts longer.
Things like puzzle feeders, Kong Wobblers and treat balls are a great source of fun for your dog - always be mindful however of your dog’s current level of experience and expertise with things like this and build up the difficulty gradually. Some dogs will figure stuff like this out in 2 seconds flat while others will probably think you’re on another planet if you offer them something advanced right away! Always go at your own dog’s pace, too difficult can equal lots of frustration which we, of course, want to avoid. You can also make use of empty boxes and toilet roll tubes you end up with at home for some great enrichment tools that cost next to nothing, making sure of course that there aren’t any staples in the boxes or anything that could be harmful. Cut a hole in the side of an empty cereal box before putting some of your dog’s food inside, or scrunch some kibble up in some paper and putting a few of these parcels in a cardboard box - lots of dogs love to tear things up so they’ll have great fun finding the hidden food. Seeing your dog having such a great time will be so rewarding you hopefully won’t mind the cleanup job after they’ve torn the box to shreds!
We love adding some food-related games into our play sections at our classes and will talk to you more about enrichment and different ways you can add this to your dog’s life.
If you’d like more information on classes, we’d love to hear from you! You can fill in our online enquiry form on our website, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you.