Boredom Busters - the Latest Enrichment Solutions for your Dog
On: 1 September 2021
Using your dog's natural instinct to scavenge is a great way to enrich their day to day lives, we explain it all here.
Domestic dogs are what we call 'scavenging carnivores', meaning they often spend a lot of time foraging for food sources.
Modern day households feed their dogs out of bowls which is considered the norm; however it leaves a huge missed opportunity for enrichment. Dogs not only love to search, dig, chase and sniff-out their next meal, it's a part of their natural behaviour. Pet parents should utilise this natural instinct to their advantage. Pets that forage for their food, and do some problem solving with the reward of a treat are generally much happier dogs.
Did you know
Just 10 minutes of mental stimulation equates to an hour of physical exercise!
That's right! One of the fastest way to exercise your pet's mind and body is to get them to solve a problem. Consider the tips below to help enrich your dog so he or she can live their best life!
1. Toy Rotation
Give your dog different toys every day. Rotating what your pup has access to regularly will keep their day more interesting and exciting. Typically, dogs that are provided a different toy every day are happier as they are less likely to get bored with the same toy every day.
Examples of Different Types of Toys:
- Plush Toys
- Rope Toys
- Rubber Toys
- Nylon Toys
2. Ditch the Bowl
Bowls are just so boring for your pup, plus your dog will finish their meal before you can say 'slow down'.
We challenge you to stop using food bowls and start using food balls! Filling an interactive food dispensing toy with kibble, treats and snacks is the BEST way to enhance mealtime. There are so many benefits to toy-feeding, such as:
- Provides physical exercise
- Relieves boredom
- Teaches problem solving
- Extends feeding time
- Relieves digestive issues caused by eating too fast
- Satisfies the natural instinct to forage
Or use these bowl alternatives
Your pup isn't a huge fan of chasing around a toy? There are some other great feeding alternatives that will enrich your pet's world and daily routine. These options may be good for older dogs or young puppies.
3. Put Toys Away
We cannot stress this enough - put your toys away at the end of the day! Leaving toys out and about ruins the novelty. When you bring out a toy of the storage box at the beginning of the day your dog has the chance to experience excitement over being able to access a new thing (and it doesn't matter if they've played with it 1000 times before). Keeping every day exciting is easy if you're rotating through your toys every day and limiting access to what they can play with.
4. Go on a Sniff-a-Thon
Smells are just so interesting and stimulating for a dog. With such powerful, sensitive noses, there's no doubt your dog loves to explore and sniff their surroundings.
Take your dog on a Sniff-a-Thon, which basically is just a walk but instead you let your dog sniff and browse where they please (within reason, of course). To get the most out of a Sniff-a-thon, take a new route around your neighbourhood or go for a drive somewhere new. Half an hour sniffing around somewhere outside is bound to make your dog happier than a kid in a candy store.
Be sure to take a long lead (5m or above) so your pet will feel less stressed and you won't have to march around after your dog as much. Short leads tend to make dogs feel restricted and this can sometimes cause anxiety.
Level up your Sniff-a-thon with a ball, treats or dog companion.
Pack up these essentials and take your dog on a sniffing adventure!