DIY Boredom Buster Games For Your Pooch
As COVID19 sweeps across the globe, and we all adapt to a new way of living, one of the first thoughts as loving pawrents will always be, how will this affect my dog?
Day to Day COVID19 is affecting everyone, maybe you are now working from home? maybe you are already having to self-isolate (or are preparing in case this happens to you)? maybe you are classed as vulnerable and are having to spend the next twelve weeks at home
Working from home full-time for the last week has been amazing! But I’m still leaving my beloved Alfie alone when possible! Even if this means an extra walk by myself in the day! Why you might ask?
Alfie has a set routine, which he loves! Mon-Fri he is normally Left between 9am-11:30am every day, he just catches up on his sleep and enjoys the peace and quiet, I don’t want him to get used to having company all the time and for this to start separation anxiety when its back to normality for the world!
One thing that we practise every day is canine enrichment, and we have really stepped this up a notch recently to keep him busy when I’m on conference calls, there are also some great ways to help keep your dog entertained when you are not able to get out and walk them! So Canine enrichment, what is it? Enrichment is to set up challenges, opportunities and stimulation for your dog!
Mental exercise tires a dog physically more than physical exercise doesDr Ian Dunbar
So what can you do with your dog indoors and in your garden if you are lucky enough to have your own!
We started simple! Very Simple, we laid a towel out flat on the floor and threw his treats onto it, then you roll the towel up and present it to your dog! They have to work to learn that when they unroll the towel their treats are revealed to be eaten! It can be funny to watch at first as they figure it out, but once they get it, they love it!
There are lots of great puzzle-feeders available to buy many are not expensive either, there are also rubber toys that can be pre-filled and frozen to make them last longer! (Also great for those warmer days! Frozen Yoghurt and Peanut treat, yummy!)
Why not get creative and make your own! Ever heard of the muffin tin game?
What you’ll need:
- Muffin baking Tray
- Some ball (Example Tennis balls)
- Kibble/ your dogs go-to treat!
Keep the tin upright and divide kibble/treats between the muffin holes, cover with the balls, and watch your dog learn to move the balls for a treat! Add difficulty by covering each section with toys or unwanted paper etc.
When you’re recycling, you can keep anything that is safe for your dog to use, empty toilet paper rolls, cereal boxes, pasta boxes and other old boxes, paper, toilet rolls etc. Why don’t you try to layer boxes one inside the other? In between each box, place tasty treats! Will your dog try to shred the boxes or get them out one by one neatly? You can also try ideas such as kibble hidden within scrunched up newspaper inside cardboard boxes, or empty plastic bottles (with lids removed) with kibble inside.
A snuffle mat is one of Alfie’s favourite enrichments! It encourages your dog to sniff and search out hidden treats amongst the strands of the mat. We just love it as it keeps Alfie content and occupied for ages! Simply bury tiny bits of food into the mat’s fabric, and watch your dog enjoy sniffing them out using their nose and brain.
Remember to supervise in case your dog needs help, if enrichment gets frustrating or fearful then that is the opposite of what it should be so bare this in mind! Have fun bonding with your dog in this uncertain time and keep them mentally stimulated!