| Michaela Fisher

Enrichment 101

Most dog owners know what we need to do to keep our canine companions happy and healthy. They need food, water, a place to sleep, grooming, exercise, and love to name a few! But they also need something called enrichment. Enrichment is important for engaging your dog in activities designed to stimulate their mind and keep them psychically fit at the same time. Offering enrichment means giving your dog new and interesting things that encourage natural behavior.

Have you heard the saying, “variety is the spice of life?” Well, dogs appreciate that too. As dog owners we must help our dogs engage their brains in ways that make sense to them. This can reduce boredom and lessen certain negative destructive behaviors.

There are so many ways you can introduce enrichment into your dog’s life. Here we will explore three options that are affordable, and sure to get your canine’s approval.

1. Durable Kongs

Have you ever heard of a kong? Kongs are made of durable rubber and have an empty cavity inside them. Fill the cavity with your dog’s dry kibble, and then seal it off with a tasty treat your dog doesn’t get often. Some common choices are peanut butter, plain yogurt, or a bit of soft cheese. Take the kong and put it in your freezer overnight. In the morning before you go to work, give it to your dog. Trying to get all the food out of the kong will stimulate your dog’s brain and give him something to do while you are away.

2. Towel Treats

Another great option if your dog is food motivated is this neat towel trick. Rather than placing your dog’s food into his bowl and letting him eat it in thirty seconds, get out a towel. Lay the towel out on the floor and pour the dog food out across the towel evenly. Then, roll the towel up with the food inside. Offer this to your dog. Your dog will have to sniff, paw, and move the towel with his teeth to get to the food. This is a fun game for your dog and makes him work a bit for his dinner!

3. Story Time

If your dog isn’t very food motivated, consider breaking out your favorite novel. Reading out loud to your dog can help reduce stress for both of you and is something new and interesting for your dog to pay attention to. Don’t have a book you think your dog wants to listen to? Check out our book, “Tales for the Tail End of the Day” , which features a collection of pet short stories!

Enrichment is an important part of any pet’s life. It brings excitement and joy to our dogs, and helps give them purpose. Do you have any cool enrichment you like to offer your canine companion? Let us know!