Long Lasting Food Puzzles:
Dogs are a hunter-scavengers at their roots; they want to search, forage, and eviscerate! We want them to do this with "appropriate" items - not our throw pillows! The easiest way to provide this type of enrichment is by utilizing our dogs’ daily calorie requirements, and having them "work for their food" in mentally enriching ways.
Here are some ideas for feeding your dog in a smarter way. All of the "feeder toys" below can be stuffed with combination of kibble and wet dog food for one of your dog's meals (or freeze dried or pre-prepared raw food if that is what you feed!). Freeze each of these items after stuffing for a longer lasting, more satisfying puzzle or meal:
Things to Note:
In summary, in my behavior work with clients and with my own dogs, simply getting rid of bowls for at least one meal a day, and giving dogs long lasting food enrichment projects has a tremendous effect on the overall behavioral health of the dogs in question. A reduction in destructive and anxiety-related behaviors happens in my own dogs and is reported by my clients. Try it, and tell me what differences you see!
We will see you tomorrow for Day Four of our Week of Enrichment, where we will be talking about some cheap and easy DIY options for enrichment feeder toys.