7 Quick Tips for Enriching Your Dog's Environment
Boredom is the worst. When I’m bored, I find myself eating and spending more online shopping than I should. It’s not just us humans who fall into bad habits though. Dogs do too.
One of the easiest ways to keep your dog blissfully busy is exercise. While physical exercise is important for dogs, they also need to keep their brains busy too! Here’s my quick tips to enrich your dog’s environment to help them stay mentally and physically active - and out of trouble.
Tip #1: Treat and Food Dispensing Toys
Making your dog work for their food can be fun. Toppl ( Toppl Treat Toys ) is my favorite and they have three different sizes of toys you can use alone or you can interlock them to make getting the goodies out more challenging. They are even dishwasher safe and recyclable. Don’t forget to leave them plenty of fresh water to wash their treats down with. Pro tip - If you use this, consider using it with some of their regular meals, so the calories don’t go crazy.
Tip #2: Put on some tunes!
If you work outside the home or plan on being away for a while, leave some music on. Flash absolutely loves listening to 70’s soft,mellow rock. I’m a fan too! Music is great for enriching the environment but also can help drown out other noises that may stress them (like fireworks or storms). Music can be very soothing to them and can be helpful with dogs with anxiety, shelters even pipe it in to help with stress in shelter dogs. It has also been shown to help some dogs with separation anxiety and boredom too. It is recommended to listen to the same music while you are home also so that they don’t get anxious when they hear music because they see the music as a sign that you are leaving.
Make sure to leave something on like classical, reggae or soft rock. These genres have been shown to be most relaxing to dogs. It’s best to leave heavy metal, rap music and any music that causes excitement or agitation off of their playlist. It’s also been shown that they can get bored if they hear one genre for seven or more days so it’s best to shuffle their playlist.
Tip #3: Stream DogTV for your dog
No, my dogs don’t like watching Virgin River or Handmaid’s Tale with mom but they are big fans of DogTV. There are sounds that expose them to everyday noises like doorbells and cars that help to lessen their anxiety about those sounds. There are also segments with peaceful scenes and soothing music that calm the dogs (works pretty well on me too!) The shows for pet parents are a bonus!
Every dog is different so play around and see what your dog actually finds entertaining!
Tip #4: Playology Scented Dog Toys
A scented dog toy is another way to add enrichment to your dog’s life. Playology makes these adorable Squeaky Chew Balls that Josie loves and they are especially designed for heavy chewers like her. Her favorite is the beef scent and the scent lasts for months.
Scent toys can quickly become a favorite so buy something durable! Playology Pets has a quick quiz that can match your pup up with the perfect scented toy. Their Silver line for seniors is great for Flash!
Tip #5: Let them see the world!
Before I leave the house, I make sure that the blinds are up high enough so that my dogs can see out into the backyard through the glass door that goes onto my deck and also out a window in front. Flash loves to see who is coming and going around his domain- people, squirrels, deer and all kinds of other critters are “natural” entertainment.
Tip #6: Go high-tech!
Of course, in the modern world, leaving to go to work doesn’t have to mean a boring day for your dog anymore. The industry is exploding with high-tech tools and toys that do everything from monitor your dog’s food intake, to watch and speak to them too, and yes, enrich their lives! My Furbo dog camera, along with their inexpensive Dog Nanny subscription, alerts me when my dogs are active, when they are barking, when it sounds like they are eating, drinking or chewing and I can even toss a treat to them and it is all about enrichment. This camera alerted me to an emergency and I was able to rush home and take my Bella to the vet. It literally saved her life! This is a link to check out their new camera with a 360 degree view -New Furbo Camera
Tip #7: Mid-day Dog Walks
Just like our lunch break refreshes us, a mid-day walk provides a welcome break in your dog’s day. Outdoor walks engage all of your dog’s senses and provide both physical exercise as well as mental exercise. Trying out a new walking route from time to time gives your dog new sights, sounds and smells that serve as enrichment for your pup. If you’re looking for a professional dog walker in the Gainesville, Georgia area please visit my website at www.marypuppinsthepetnanny.com or you can search for a dog walker in your area at these sites- https://pro.petsitters.org/ or https://www.petsit.com/locate. Be sure that you choose someone that is insured and bonded for security and your peace of mind.
Do you have a trick up your sleeve for keeping your dog entertained? Let me know!