Keep your dogs busy with these fun enrichment ideas!
By Jessica Colson | enrichment, dog school, toys, chewing
We’ve all had those days where, no matter how much we seem to exercise our dogs, they struggle with settling down. At Dog School we teach dogs when and how to settle down, however some dogs really enjoy solving puzzles and exercising their brain so providing opportunities to do so can really help enrich their lives. So we thought we’d bring Scooby the chocolate Labrador in to the office to show you some easy, cheap and, most importantly, fun ways to enrich your dog’s life.
Some of the best materials for enrichment can be found in your recycling bin! Here, we’ve taken a cardboard box and filled it with yesterday’s newspaper and some treats.
Scooby absolutely loved tearing into the box to get at his most favourite treat of all time: carrot!
You can also take a kitchen or toilet roll tube and stuff with some newspaper and treats. An empty plastic bottle (minus the label, lid and plastic ring) filled with your dog’s dinner and with some holes cut in the side makes a great toy for your dog to throw around.
Chewing is a natural behaviour for dogs and puppies; for some dogs, it is one of their favourite things to do. It is important to provide a variety of things that our dogs can have a good chew on, otherwise we may find that they find their own chew toys!
There are some great food toys out on the market, ranging from toys you stuff with food to toys that the dog must work out how to get the food. The key here, as with all enrichment, is to provide a variety, but also to start off easy. Many dogs can get frustrated using these toys if the food is too hard to get at. By gradually increasing the difficulty, we make sure that the experience is always fun and rewarding for our dogs.
Here we have taken a Kong and loosely stuffed it with some of Scooby’s dinner (soaked) and a little bit of mashed banana, and then topped it off with some dried fish.
Enrichment doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive; sometimes a cardboard box makes the best toy! Whether you do something every day or once a week, your dog will benefit and enjoy the variety. Scooby has certainly enjoyed his day in the office. Happy enriching!