Dogs generally sleep more than humans, but let’s not let boredom be a reason to snooze the day away!
Aside from excessive sleeping, boredom can drive a dog to become distressed and destructive. Providing your pooch with constructive mental outlets helps develop their confidence, independence, problem solving skills, burns energy and saves losing another pair of shoes or part of the couch.
Did you know sniffing offers your dog many mental and physical benefits? Sniffing can lower the heart rate, help regulate emotions and decompress from stressful situations, replace unwanted behaviours, is mentally enriching and tiring and best of all – feels good!
Similarly, licking can have great soothing and calming benefits. Providing doggy-appropriate items to lick redirects the behaviour away from licking humans.
Dogs are natural foragers, so why not find creative ways to ditch the food bowl. Before attempting these ideas please consider their suitability for your pup based on their age, breed and face shape (flatter-faced dogs could be at risk of facial injuries such as eye scratches), and always supervise your dog initially to ensure the game is appropriate and safe. And remember – never disturb a dog while they are eating.
There are a few variations of this game depending on the type of food your dog likes. The idea is to scatter or hide your pup’s food or healthy treats and encourage them to use their nose to find it. If your dog scoffs their meals, this game is great to slow them down.
Here’s how to play:
There are many puzzle feeder toys on the market these days which is great! Do some research to find ones most appropriate for your dog – consider durability, difficulty level, accessibility based on face shape. A common option are Kong’s or similar toys. These can be frozen to last longer.
Before throwing away empty plastic bottles, toilet rolls or cardboard boxes, pass them down to your dog for some fun (keeping their safety in mind). Remove the ‘O ring’ and lids from bottles, and ensure all items are properly cleaned. Here’s some ideas on how to use:
These games aren’t strictly for dogs – any pet can try them! You may need to help your pet initially learn the game and encourage them not to get frustrated and give up. The key to avoiding frustration is to make sure they are successful early on. Remember, any treats or food given comes out of their daily total portion of food, as we do not want your pet to become overweight.
If you’re looking for ideas for bond-strengthening games to play with your pup, head over to our article Why Play Should Be a Priority here
Article provided by our partner PetSure