HOUSTON – Providing our dogs with socialization and enrichment during these times, can be challenging, but it’s so important for them.
And with simple household items you can create fun enrichment activities for your furry friends.
The puppy expert, Stephanie Bennett with Believe in Dog Training, shows how easy it is to create mental exercises for Fido, including making toys and even set up a Easter egg hunt for your pup.
“This is a really big deal for all these dogs at home. There’s a lot of things we need to be dealing with, but especially for the younger puppies and all the dogs, really, need as much mental exercise and mental stimulation as we can possibly get them. Because luckily, they’re getting a lot of physical exercise but none of them are getting enough mental stimulation,” said Bennett, who recommends using smelly treats and having a system to increase the difficulty for your dog.
“These toys or exercises, you have to start easy and then star making them a little bit harder so it takes them some time, and then you can advance.
To see Bennett’s complete interview, watch the video above.
1. SNUFFLE ROLL
• Kitchen tea towel
• 3-4 empty toilet paper rolls
• Small, smelly treats
• Fold the towel in half, longways
• Sprinkle tiny treats down the center of the towel.
• Roll the towel into a long, skinny burrito.
• Slide the towel through several toilet paper rolls.
• Watch your dog work to tear off the toilet paper rolls and unroll the towel!
2. PLASTIC CUP INTERACTIVE PUZZLE TOY
• 3-5 small plastic or Dixie cups
• Single hole puncher
• Small, smelly treats
• Punch holes near the top on either side of the cups.
• Thread the twine through the cups.
• Tie the opposite ends of the twine to two chairs, knobs, table legs, etc., with the cups hanging in the center. Fill each cup with a couple small, smelly treats.
• Watch your dog try to figure out how to tip the cups over for the treats to fall out.
3. MUFFIN TIN SHELL GAME
• Muffin tin
• Several different types of balls, appropriately sized to fit each compartment
• Variety of small treats or kibble
• Fill each compartment with a bit of deliciousness.
• Place the balls on top of the treats.
• Watch your dog figure out how to get the balls out to get to the treats!
4. SHERLOCK NOSE EASTER EGG HUNT
• Variety of plastic Easter eggs
• Tiny, smelly treats
• Fill the eggs with tiny treats
• Hide the eggs
• Let your dog’s nose lead the way!
Instructions provided by Stephanie Bennett.