Mental stimulation is essential whether your dog is a high-energy puppy or laid-back older dog. It doesn’t matter if they pick up on training quickly or need a little extra practice to learn new skills. New experiences and learning opportunities will always benefit their well-being. The best part is, canine enrichment doesn’t need to be expensive or hard to organize. Dog owners have put their minds together to come up with clever ways to keep their pups happy, healthy, and entertained.
Here are a few of their best ideas.
#1 – Frozen Food-Storing Toys
Kongs are most popular, but there are several other types of toysperfect for enticing your dog’s appetite. Fill the toy with anything from peanut butter to yogurt and put it in the freezer. Some dog owners get creative with their recipes and add things like dry kibble, sardines, bully sticks, and mashed bananas. Dogs spend long periods of time with the frozen treat, and they have to use their bodies and minds to get every last lick.
#2 – Spin the Bottle
There are several variations of this fun game, and it’s easy to make your own set-up at home. Dog owner Mila Vujovic used a tension rod and an empty two-liter bottle with holes cut into it to create an enrichment activity for her two dogs. The goal of the game is to spin the bottle to make treats drop out onto the floor. It can be modified for big dogs and little dogs, and you can make it harder or easier depending on how many holes you cut in the bottle.
“My older dog has shown an increased interest in food and gained confidence while my young pup has shown better problem solving over time and much more patience with food rewards.”