Dog owners are pretty particular about their health and wellness. This is why it’s never challenging when it comes to meals. Usually, dog owners love to keep the food where their dog is most comfortable.
While it’s absolutely amazing the life pet dogs lead, that’s not how genetic makeup is. Ideally, they had to do a lot of work like hunting to get their meals. That was a natural way of keeping their body and mind active.
But now, dogs are leading a luxurious lifestyle where they get everything right in front of them. This is why experts suggest including some mental stimulation activities in your pooch’s life. Honestly, if you don’t do this, you will repeatedly encounter problems like barking, which could be a concern.
What do Experts Say?
Research studies and professionals confirm that if your dog is mentally active, it won’t have any behavioral issues. Moreover, such dogs easily navigate stressful situations and triggers. And studies exclaim that brain games can help you achieve just that. In fact, you can integrate the same with their regular feeding schedule.
Honestly, your dog loves challenges. Plus, there won’t be any need to find other rewards since they will treat their normal food as a reward. But how to get started? Keep reading, and you’ll find out!
Let’s begin with Sniffing tasks
Using the nose is quite an inherent activity in canines. So, hiding their food will help them develop the natural smelling technique. For instance, you can scatter their food in your garden and ask your dog to sniff around to find the pieces. If you are doing it inside, make sure to use a room where they don’t have to go underneath any furniture to find their food. To make it even more exciting and up the level, you can hide their food behind bushes or pots.
Use feed dispensing pads or toys
This is yet another way to improve your dogs’ mental ability. And the best part is that when they solve the puzzle, they get food as a reward. Isn’t that great? So, you can use Classic Kong, which is quite a popular food dispensing product. However, please don’t limit yourself to it. You can also go for a dog lick pad which is quite good to stimulate the pleasure of endorphins. In fact, studies confirm that licking is quite beneficial to calm down dogs. Not only that, but it will also provide mental stimulation and help reinforcing positivity in dogs.
The best part about such items is that they are non-toxic and made from food-grade materials. Plus, these items are durable, dishwasher safe, and freeze-free. Also, since they have to lick it, it will further improve digestion and reduce bloating.
You can also use a cereal box to hide their food. However, this might get challenging and time-consuming. However, it will be fun watching your pal having a good time finding their food.
You can further use this method to make them learn a few more tricks during training. The idea is to develop a routine to encourage your pup to associate these games with positive rewards, i.e., food.
Change Their Food Texture
Once in a while, you can make some changes to their usual routine. To achieve that, you can simply change their food products. If you are usually feeding them wet products, you can freeze them using cubes/ discs. Dogs love such food options since they will give them a chance to crunch. On the other hand, if they are accustomed to eating dry items, you can make a mash using water or other dog-friendly liquid. The idea is to enrich their life by changing their routine.
Feeding enrichment activities have a variety of benefits. While we talked about them being a mental challenge, they also serve the purpose of curbing any inappropriate dog behavior as well. Besides this, one can use the same activity to alleviate anxiety triggers too.
Besides physical exercise, mental activity or health is the need of the hour. And feeding enrichment can help you achieve just that. The idea is to use the excess energy and make it enjoyable simultaneously. By doing so, your dog can also recover from any illness or injury.
And let’s not forget dogs also love mental challenges. They love to use their nose to get their favorite treats. However, activities might vary as per your dog’s preferences. For instance, some like to snuffle food through a closed container. And a few others love to chase it.
So, you must focus on choosing the activity that your dog adores.