Top picks for enrichment feeders
Did you know that dogs like us also thrive on being mentally stimulated? Keeping their mind active can build confidence, reduce undesirable behaviour and ultimately make them feeling more relaxed and happier. A bored dog will often find his own entertainment such as chewing, biting and barking and that may be deemed undesirable by us.
Traditionally the focus tends to be on keeping dogs active by exercising them, taking them for long walks and hikes and making them run the distance with us to keep fit. However, it is equally important to focus on stimulation of a different kind which engages their brain and other senses. The experts tell us that 20 minutes of sniffing is equivalent to an hour’s walk in terms of enrichment for your dog.
Enrichment is defined as the action of improving or enhancing the quality or value of something. When it comes to dogs this often means using the mind or body to stay active, exercise or engage the brain. There are different types of games and activities you can engage with your dog, the easiest being using puzzle feeders and enrichment toys.
If you make mealtime fun, then your dog will be mentally and physically satisfied. It’s as easy as ditching the typical dog bowl and using your dog’s daily food portions to fill enrichment toys and puzzle feeders, so ditch the bowl and replace them with puzzle feeders and enrichment toys.
If your pet is new to enrichment, start off easy and progress at your dog’s pace. Some enrichment toys may be noisy and can startle a nervous dog and you can place the feeder on a towel or non-slip mat while your dog grows in confidence. Some puzzle feeders are very challenging. Start with easier toys so that your dog doesn’t become frustrated and give up. Once your dog has mastered the art of using puzzle feeders, you can progress to trickier toys. A Snufflemat is a great introduction to enrichment feeders, as it’s stationary, makes no noise and gets your dog used to searching for rewards.
These are our top picks for enrichment feeders: