25 Aug Quick Tips For Enriching Your Dog’s Life
Boredom is the worst. When I’m bored, I find myself rummaging through the refrigerator eating anything I can find or mindlessly scrolling through social media. Yuck! It’s not just us humans who fall into bad habits though. Dogs do too.
One of the easiest ways to keep your dog blissfully busy is exercise. Even on a busy day I can take my dogs on a quick walk through the neighborhood or grab a favorite toy and head out to the backyard.
While physical exercise is important for dogs, they also need to keep their brains busy too! Here’s my quick tips to enrich your dog’s environment to help them stay mentally and physically active – and out of trouble.
Having your dog work for their food can be fun. The Snoop interactive toy is great for those dogs who love to chase balls and makes a great boredom buster! The material is highest quality and being plastic, it doesn’t make noise on a hard floor. I love that you can adjust this toy for beginner or advanced players. Don’t forget to leave them plenty of fresh water to wash their treats down with. Pro tip – If you use this, consider using it with some of their regular meals, so the calories don’t go crazy.
Tip #2 Poker Box by Trixie
Puzzles really keep the brain going and challenge your dog’s mind. I really like the Poker Box by Trixie because you can use it as one big toy with four options or remove the different boxes and create four separate games. This is a great puzzle because within this one toy are several levels of difficultly and the ability to remove the sections gives you countless ways to use it!
Tip #3: Put on some tunes
If you work outside the home or plan on being away for a while, leave some music on. My older dog, Mason absolutely loves listening to Through A Dog’s Ear CDs. Music is great for enriching the environment but also it can help drown out noises that make a dog anxious as well as help calm them when they get stressed from storms, the garbage truck or other things that happen during the day.
Make sure to set the volume a bit lower than you might like unless your dog’s hearing is impaired for some reason. Make sure the music is calm and choose a channel without a lot of talking.
Tip #4: Show them the world!
Before I leave the house, I make sure to pull up the blinds so my dogs can see. Mason and Oscar both love seeing what’s making those noises in the cul-de-sac or watching the critters in the backyard. Now that I think about it, they enjoy bathing in the sunshine that comes through the windows too!
Tip #5: Go high-tech!
Of course, in the modern world, leaving to go to work doesn’t have to mean a boring day for your dog anymore. The industry is exploding with high-tech tools and toys that do everything from monitor your dog’s food intake, to watch and speak to them to, yes, enrich their lives! The Furbo Dog Camera is just one example of how to keep an eye on your pup and add enrichment too, even when you aren’t home.
Consider an enrichment session in place of your regular training session. This is a great way to learn about and try out some of these ideas. It’s always a hit for clients and especially for the dogs!
Do you have a trick up your sleeve for keeping your dog entertained? Let me know!
Jennifer began to learn more about dog behavior and training in 2009, by reading all the latest science-based research she could find and by enrolling in a dog training course through Raising Canine, owned and operated by Susan Smith, CDBC, CPDT-KA. Jennifer earned her national certification in professional dog training through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) in 2013. She feels strongly that: “The attitude that’s brought to the training session by both myself and the dog’s guardian is critical to its success.” “I strive to fully understand the goals as well as the challenges of each client and work hard to develop a plan that works for everyone, including the dog.”