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Not too long animal caretakers started looking for ways to alleviate stress and boredom for the wild animals left in their care. Many ideas proved to be successful in the zoo world that it trickled over to our household pets.

So without further ado, for those long work days here is a list of different enrichment ideas for your pup.

  • Stuffed Kongs: We typically like to add Greek yogurt mixed with blueberries to kongs and freeze them. Others like to fill with peanut butter, cheese, treats, etc. Make sure whatever you stuff you Kong with that it’s safe for them to consume.
  • Pet Store Snuffle Mats, Puzzles, and Slow Feeders: All pretty self explanatory items that you can get at your local pet store to entertain your pup.
  • Grass feeding: Mark out a small grass area and drop some treats or your dog’s meal in the grass. This encourages your dog to sniff out their food.
  • Muffin tin with tennis balls: Get a normal size muffin tin and put some treats in it. Cover each with a tennis ball and allow your dog to work to pull each ball off and eat what’s under.
  • Sand Pit: Get a plastic pool and fill with sand. Bury toys and allow your dog to dig in that area.
  • Create natural obstacles: You can create obstacles for your dog to jump over or climb under. Use two chairs and out a broom across them and encourage your dog to jump over. Or make a blanket fort to encourage your dog to crawl under.
  • Treats in a water bottle: Save an plastic water or soda bottle and out treats in it. Allow your dog to work at getting the treats out.
  • Bubbles: You can blow non-toxic bubbles for your dog to chase and catch or smell, whatever they like to do.
  • Blanket hunt: Put treats or food under a blanket or towel and allow your dog to figure out how to access the treats.
  • Flirt pole: You can buy a flirt pole or get an old bull-whip and tie a toy at the end of it. Allow your dog to chase the toy as you try to keep it away.
  • Cardboard feeding: Throw food into cardboard boxes and allow your dog to eat out of it. Or use older paper towel rolls or toilet paper rolls and stuff with old rags mixed with food. Allow your dog to pull rags out to eat food.
  • Plastic cups: Set up a row of plastic cups or planters or boxes and put food in only one or two of them. Mix them up and allow your dog to sniff and find which ones have food under them.

These are just a few ideas that you can do at home with your pup. Don’t over think it. Enrichment can be as simple as a walk that allows your dog to sniff around. Engage those senses and I’m sure you’ll be able to keep boredom at bay.

What are some of your favorite enrichment ideas?

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Dog with toys