Why and How to Add Enrichment to Your Dog's Life!
Unlock your dog's happiness and health with instinct-driven enrichment. Discover scent walks, safe socialization, and puzzle toys for mental and physical well-being. Transform daily routines, reduce stress, and create a confident, content canine companion. Start enriching your dog's life today!
The key to a healthy and happy dog is regular enrichment and engaging in instinctual behavior.
What is enrichment? Enrichment nurtures your dogs physical and mental well being by providing an outlet for your dog’s natural instincts. Enrichment satisfies a dog’s mental and physical needs.
Enrichment is vital for all animals and is known to reduce stress by giving a healthy outlet to channel their instinctive behavior. Following the same routine day in and day out can cause your dog to become bored.
Lack of social activities can cause anxiety and lead to unwanted behavior. Enrichment doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. It can be as simple as taking a new route on your daily walks.
Learn 3 ways to enrich your dog’s life:
- Scent Walks
Humans aren’t interested in scent the same way that dogs are, and we can’t smell the way that dogs can. Dogs have amazing noses and can be trained to sniff out diseases, bombs, and drugs to name a few! The scope of a dog’s scent abilities are super impressive.
Taking your dog on a scent walk allows them to explore their surroundings exposing them to new and familiar smells. Scent walks are super easy also! Just leave some time for your dog to use their nose. Be fully engaged and pay attention to your dog, if they stop to sniff, let them!
Be patient and let go of the idea of having a specific destination that must be reached. Slow down and enjoy the journey with your furry best friend. Scent walks mentally engage your dog in a way that regular walks do not.
- Safe Socialization
Dogs are social animals, and should be allowed to meet new people and other dogs. Socializing your dog as a puppy and adolescence can help them to become confident and friendly adults.
It is important to safely socialize your dog and not to set them up for failure. Puppies find off leash play beneficial, but this same practice can have negative effects with adult dogs.
Most dogs when they reach maturity no longer enjoy playing in large groups of unfamiliar dogs. It is good practice to introduce dogs one on one and have both dogs leashed. Allow the dogs to sniff each other and if body language shows that both dogs are happy you can graduate to off leash play.
Invite family and friends’ dogs that are easygoing and gentle over for playdates. Dogs only remain social when they are continually exposed to new people, dogs, and other animals.
Allow your dog to meet new people on your walks, at pet friendly stores and patios, or by bringing them along for outings with family and friends. Socialization is all about teaching your dog that the world is a safe place.
- Puzzle Toys
Puzzle toys are meant to keep your dog entertained and provide mental stimulation. They help your dog with problem solving skills. Puzzle toys can be perfect for when you must leave your dog home alone. 15 minutes of mental exercise is considered equivalent to a 3-mile walk!
Puzzle toys can help alleviate anxiety and can even provide some physical exercise. Puzzle toys can also help fast eaters slow down!
There are many puzzle toys available to dog parents, some include:
Lick mats: Lick mats are rubber mats with grooves and ridges that can be used for meals or treats. Spread wet food, raw, or soaked kibble to slow down fast eaters and make mealtime engaging.
- You can use ingredients like pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, or natural peanut butter as a treat. Add extra health benefits by adding supplements.
Lick mats benefits include:
- Oral health
- Mental stimulation
- Stress relief
- Training aid
- Plush Treat Toys: You can purchase plush treat dispensing toys. Put your dog's favorite treat inside the plush toy and fill the holes with the smaller toys.
- Your dog will have to remove the small toys from the holes to be able to reach the treats insider. If your dog is known to destroy plush toys only give these toys with supervision.
- Snuffle Matt: Snuffle mats are designed to hide treats or food that your dog must work for. These mats are great for cognitive ability building and mental stimulation.
- 10 minutes of snuffling is considered equal to 1 hour of physical exercise, there are many fun shaped snuffle matts that you can order, or you can DIY one yourself.
DIY Snuffle Mat
- Take a towel and sprinkle dog food or treats. Roll the towel up and tie for an added level of difficulty. Your dog will have to work to get the towel undone and release the toys.
- - Take a larger cardboard box and fill it with smaller boxes and toilet paper rolls. Sprinkle your dog’s food or treats into the box and allow your dog to find all the treats. Some dogs even enjoy shredding the cardboard!
- Rubber fillable toy: Again, these toys are great for mealtime or treats. You can purchase rubber fillable toys in all shapes and sizes making them extra fun for pet parents on holidays and for the seasons.
Fill with wet food, soaked kibble, or raw and top with your favorite treats. Have fun and get creative. Freeze for an added level of difficulty!
With so many options available to dog parents, enrichment can be fun and exciting for everyone. Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking about enrichment for your dog:
- Change up the activities. Don’t do the same enrichment activities day in and day out. Rotate between your dog's favorites and try new things!
- Dogs may want to nap afterwards, Mental stimulation can be exhausting!
- Consider your dog's preferences and capabilities. Enrichment should be a positive experience for your dog!
- Always start with the easiest level and increase the difficulty to avoid your dog getting frustrated.
- Always supervise your dog the first time. Enrichment should be safe.
Upgrade Your Pet’s Health the Natural Way
Discover the secrets to your pet's optimal health with Dr. Michelle Dulake's proven methods! Unleash the full potential of their well-being and share in their vibrant life. Don't wait – improve your pet's vitality and longevity today with expert guidance from the trusted veterinarian!
At Fera Pet Organics, we’re committed to using only the most natural high-quality ingredients to keep your furry family members healthy and happy for as long as possible.
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