Canine Enrichment means adding mentally/intellectually stimulating activities to your dog’s daily life, so that you keep him happy, healthy and busy.
Our domestic dogs tend to suffer from boredom if they are not employed sufficiently. Most breeds have been created to 𝘥𝘰 something, like herding, hunting, protecting, and when they don’t have a job they might develop bad ideas or even behavioral disorders.
So what about playing fetch, jogging, biking with our dogs? A tired dog is a good dog, right? Well, even though your dog will be physically tired after those activities, he will be up and ready after a while again (rest time will even decrease after a while due to increased fitness!), but still mentally bored.
Giving them something challenging, something meaningful to do will kill that boredom and make them tired on a very different level – just like you are exhausted but very happy and amazed after a great discussion with good friends or an exciting book!
I want to share with you some of Peter‘s favorite enriching activities, like snuffle mats, snuffle balls, „lickies“, ball hide & seek, kongs, etc.
What are your favorite Canine Enrichment activities? Let me know, I’m always looking for new ideas!
𝗪𝐡𝐲 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐝𝐨𝐠 𝐬𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐚 𝐬𝐧𝐮𝐟𝐟𝐥𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐭
Snuffle mats are the classics for Canine Enrichment: You hide some kibble or treats in there and send your dog sniffing.
There are many vendors that sell snuffle mats, in different sizes and quality, also quite budget-friendly. Having tried many of them, I recommend to get one that has a good depth so that it’s not too easy for your dog to get the food out. Thick knots also increase difficulty (and fun!).
Or you can also make one yourself! I will try to do so and share it with you!
Reasons to get one:
- Sniffing is a very important and enriching species-specific behavior, makes the dog happy and lowers the heart rate.
- Sniffing and finding food himself is self-rewarding and strengthens his self-confidence. It is a meaningful activity!
- Sniffing reduces stress and increases concentration.
- Peter doesn’t like his kibble from his bowl. But he LOVES his kibble from the snuffle mat, so we only feed him dry food from sniffing toys.
- Also fast eaters will slow down with a snuffle mat.
- Peter also sleeps on his, so it has many applications.