Helping your dog get more out of life
May 21, 2020
Does your dog seem never to switch off? Always bounding around, always seeking attention no matter how many walks you go on or how much ball you play? Or does it, conversely, seem a bit bored, fed up? It could be that it needs its life enriching.
This, as our head nurse Rachel explains, simply means providing stimulation beyond the usual, everyday training and exercise. There follows a list of some of the ways you can help to enrich your dog’s life – and your own at the same time.
Still have questions? We’re always happy to help, so please contact us and we’ll do our best to answer your queries. In the meantime, why not take a look at our enrichment list to see how your dog’s mood shapes up?
What is enrichment?
Sensory enrichment involves stimulating your dog mentally through its various senses of touch, sound, sight, smell and taste with the goal of challenging it to exercise its brain.
There are all sorts of activities that can be employed to push your dog beyond the everyday, such as getting them to forage for their food, putting their sense of smell to the test, or hiding toys so they have to seek them out.
Here are a few more simple suggestions for ways to engage and stimulate your dog mentally, but you can make up your own challenges to suit your pet.
- Puzzle feeders force dogs to use their brain even at dinner time, as they have to work out how to move parts of the feeder around to get to their meal.
- Kongs can be stuffed with favourite treats and will keep your dog occupied for ages as it works out ways of getting at the goodies.
- Obstacle courses are great fun and you can easily make your own with little or no expense.
- Teaching your dog tricks will keep it on its toes, and you can go well beyond giving a paw or rolling over by teaching your pet to identify colours, for example.
If you do some enrichment work with your dog every day you’ll soon find it is more alert and attentive, as well as sleeping better – mental stimulation tires your pooch just as much as, if not more than, its daily walks.
Have fun devising enrichment tasks and if you have any more questions the team is here to take your call on 01242 517199. And remember to check our enrichment list.