Our canine companions need exercise and stimulation just as much as we do, but for dog owners, that doesn’t have to stop at a walk. Below our Dog Care Team shares some of their favorite enrichment activities to give your pup’s brain some stimulation! Dogs thrive when all of their senses are activated. Enrichment activities can help with boredom, prevent dogs from getting anxious and provide pups with fun projects!
At Nevada Humane Society, we do all sorts of enrichment activities with our shelter dogs. We provide them with essential oils to awaken their noses and encourage mental stimulation. We give them peanut butter frisbees (pictured above) which we attach to the front of their kennels so they stay engaged with a fun activity and get a sweet treat! We make and feed them frozen dog food treats, Kongs, topple feeders, lick mats and more! Our team understands the importance of keeping dogs engaged and we are excited to share some of our favorite enrichment ideas for you try at home with your dog!
At Home Tricks
Here are some ideas of ways to get your dog motivated:
- A muffin dog tin puzzle. All you need is treats or some kibble, a tin and some tennis balls. Simply place the food in each of the muffin tin slots and cover each with a ball. This makes them work for the food!
- Toys like Kongs are another way to engage your dog. Filled with whatever treat you choose, these toys make your dog active in trying to get it out. This tires them out in the long run. Here is a list of 39 healthy dog snacks you can put in a Kong.
- Sniff time! A dogs only outing might be the time that you take them on a walk. Let them have a few extra minutes to sniff around, it adds to how they explore their surroundings.
- Frozen Treats. Frozen Treats are a bit messy and work well for outdoor use, so they might not be the best in the winter time. But if you have a space without carpet they are a great way to get your canine engaged. These are made of peanut butter, dog food, yogurt or a fruit base. All you do is simply put the base in an ice tray and freeze it. This will take your dog a long time to eat, and might be pushed around thus needing to be wiped off the floor after!
Check out these frozen wet food treats we give to the dogs here at the shelter:
- Indoor obstacle course. For this you will need a few household items as well as some highly motivating treats. Get your dog to follow you along a path or go room to room having them complete tricks. these can be basic commands or truly “obstacle-course” in nature. You can have them walk through a hula-hoop for example, or climb through a home-made tunnel. Every stop and trick they make, reward them with a treat.
- Toilet Paper Roll toy. A toilet paper roll toy can be the perfect way to reuse household materials and keep your pup happy. Simply take an empty toilet paper roll, fold one end into a tight triangle, fill it with treats, and fold the other side. Your dog will work to get them out, and toilet paper rolls are not known to hurt their mouth or bowels. Supervision is recommended, though.
These are just a few ways you can get your dog engaged and make their day! For more informational tips, check out the Education Page on our blog.