According to the National Animal Welfare Trust, "Enrichment improves and enhances your dog’s mental state using a range of activities designed to challenge and exercise their brains. These activities encourage your dog to problem solve, learn new skills and become more confident."
At Big Barker, we know the importance of keeping your dog stimulated throughout the day, but we were curious to hear other fun activities you do with your dog. We got some amazing responses from our awesome Big Barker Community. Check them out below... and see if you have something new to try with your dog!
There are plenty of ways to incorporate enrichment into mealtime! Our friends @Oso_n_koa say that they use feeding puzzles. These puzzles use a variety of "games" such as buttons, doors, slides, and more to help a dog learn how to open the item and retrieve the food. Beyond puzzles, frozen slow feeders are awesome to slow down the pace of your dog eating.
A dog's sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times better than humans! As parents to our dogs, we have to make sure that we work our dog's noses to keep them engaged and sharp! Find great scent work activities below:
- Hide a treat under one of three cups
- Place their bowl in a different place each day for them to "find the food"
- Create a scent trail for them to follow
- Pick the hand that has a treat in it
Hide and Seek
One of our favorite games from when we were younger, "Hide and Seek" is a perfect game to play with your furry friend. To play with your dog, teach them how to "Sit" and "Stay." Once that is accomplished, go hide somewhere in your house or outside and yell "Break!" Now, your dog must try and find you using their nose. This helps with their sense of smell and is a super fun game! You can even make little noises to help them out if they need hints.
A lick mat is simple. They are used to encourage licking in your dog by putting some type of food, such as peanut butter in a grooved piece of silicon or rubber. Lick mats are beloved by dogs because they reward them with their favorite treat! Make sure when you purchase a lick mat that it is dog safe material to avoid any negative health affects.
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