Happy and Healthy Dogs: Enrichment Handbook
We all want our dogs to live a fruitful and happy life, don’t we? Mental and physical enrichment not only contributes to your dog’s overall health but also provides you with so many different ways to bond even closer to your pup.
We’ve pulled together a little enrichment handbook to get you started… But don’t be afraid to unleash your creativity and cater to your own pup’s unique traits. Why not pick a couple of activities below and combine them? Now that would deserve a round of a-paws!
It’s the best of both worlds… Provide your pooch with some mental and physical enrichment, all while they learn some cool new tricks to show the rest of the pack at the dog park! What could be better, right? Of course, the more movement is required for the trick you’re teaching them, the more boxes you tick when it comes to providing an outlet for their energy.
To keep your pup’s attention for a prolonged period of time, you’re going to need something worthwhile. Why not try this scrumptious air-dried green beef tripe to use as training treats?
Remember: try not to feed these at any other point so they’re an extra special (high value) reward for these sessions!
If you really want to get those gears turning, give agility training a go! Think tricks, but stepping up a level! The commands, movements, and courses you’d be teaching your pup are a little more advanced than the "sit, paw" type of stuff most of us are used to, but as a result could reap even more reward…
Agility training is one of our favorite enrichment activities, as it’s a great way to spend some quality bonding time with your fur baby, too. Life gets busy! So enjoy these moments with your four-legged member of the pack, all while learning a new skill together.
We all know long walks in the depths of the forest are great fun for our dogs, but how often do you think about the added bonuses of venturing on those more challenging hikes or extensive excursions?
Allowing our pups the room and opportunity to expend their extra energy is one of the best enrichments activities we can do for our fur babies. Not only do walks in nature keep their minds clear and their bodies healthy (the same goes for us humans too!), but just think about how many different scents send their senses wild across an afternoon stroll in the mountains? Unfathomable.
The recipe for enrichment is fruitful when it comes to hiking with your hound: physical outlets, brain stimulation, and scent trails… plus it’s great fun! Happy hiking.
If you’ve got a furry member of the pack who’s food-orientated (and we’re not talking about hoomans, here!), food puzzles could be a paw-some way of providing your pup with some captivating cognitive enrichment time. Find some that suit your pup’s personality traits and fill them with goodies! We are talking about anything and everything from wobble bowls and Toppls, to interactive treat dispensers, snuffle mats and slow feeders.
Usually, you’ll need smaller titbits to place in the compartments of the puzzles. We find these delicious air-dried beef lung cubes tend to work really well. Yum!
This is a fun one to keep your dog busy if you have the space… Try playing "hide and seek" with your pup! Pick a room where you can shut all the doors while you hide a tasty treat in some nooks and crannies, then release the hound(s) and let them sniff them out. This can be a suuuuper easy way to get their minds racing and their noses twitching, so be sure to make it a little difficult so they have to work hard for their rewards!
Personally, air-dried chicken tenders are our go-to favorite to hide around your home (as they're completely dry, so mess-free!)
There we have it! Some boredom busters, energy outlets, and brain games to keep your neediest member of the pack happy and healthy. Try them out and pick your favorite… And remember, it can be fun for you, too!