Dogs Trust

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A Dogs Dinner!

Giving our dogs variety in the way they eat.

A small dog with an enrichment toy

Following on from our previous blog where we introduced a little of the theory behind Canine Enrichment, why it helps our Dogs and how we can do it in the home, this week we have been looking specifically at Nutritional Enrichment.

Using different methods of food delivery to our dogs is a great way of creating some variety in their day to day life. It is documented that using methods like scatter feeding or puzzle feeders have very positive impacts on Dogs by increasing the time they can forage, which is a natural behaviour for them. This in turn can help reduce other unwanted behaviours.

Perhaps you have a dog who likes to gulp down their food very quickly which could be a potential choke risk. By using a simple puzzle feeder this will slow the eating process down and stimulate their brain by making them think about how to get the food.

In the video below and you will see Lucky, a young Lurcher who has been with us this week, receiving a variety of food delivery methods each day. When he was fed in a bowl he got through his food very quickly. When we gave him a Kong he very quickly figured out how to get to the food and it occupied him for a long time in his bed.

The puzzle feeder again gave him a chance to eat slower and use his brain too. He really enjoyed foraging for his food out of newspaper. This is similar to using a destruction box where the dog can exercise their natural foraging instincts to find their food. The same natural behaviour is demonstrated with the scatter feed where Lucky had a great time sniffing and searching.

These are all really easy ways of adding a little variety to your dog’s day.

As with any new activities you plan to undertake with your dog be sure to do them in a calm environment where your dog is familiar and comfortable. With puzzle feeders and Kongs you may need to help them the first time until they figure out how to do it themselves, but this in itself is a brilliant bonding exercise for you both. Extra care should of course be taken if your dog has any guarding issues surrounding food.

So why not give it a go yourself? We guarantee you and your dog will have a great time!

For more information on the basics of Canine Enrichment please take a look at our previous blog.