Our dogs provide us with unconditional love, are always
happy to see us and listen to our problems, but do we give them enough of our
time and attention? Is your dog’s life interesting? How often do we take the
dog on the same walk, at the same time, perhaps even while on the phone and let
them amuse themselves?
Here some fun and easy activities that you could fit into
your daily routine to make your dog’s life more interesting:
Foraging – You can throw your dog’s food out in the garden
and let them forage for it. Initially, you might have to put it in small piles
and start to spread it out to teach them the game. Then you can start to put it
in more and more difficult places around the garden.
Food Toys – You can stuff their food into a Kong toy and let
them work out how to get the food out. You could also pour hot water over the
kibble, when it has cooled down and is soft, stuff it into the Kong and then
freeze it so it is harder for your dog to get out. There are a variety of
stuffable toys, you also could think about using toilet roll tubes or egg boxes
and close the ends so that your dog has to get them open. In the hot weather
you could put some of your dog’s kibble in a plastic container and fill with
water and freeze. This will keep your dog cool and amused.
Learn to Earn – You can keep part of your dog’s meal aside
to for training purposes so they have to earn their food. You can do basic
training as part of your walk with dog and challenge your dog, you can you work
towards a longer sit or an out of sight stay etc.
Find it – You can hide portions of your dog’s food around
the house/garden and tell them to go ‘find’. Initially, you will need to let
your dog see you hiding the food, then you could start to hide the food further
away, then out of sight so they have to use their nose to find the food.
Let your dog talk you for a walk – Where is your dog’s favourite
place? Let your dog’s nose guide your walk and see where they take you.
Canicross – Have you tried running with your dog? Canicross
is a where your dog runs ahead of you using a harness. It provides you and your
dog with exercise, mental stimulation and helps to create a bond.
Agility – If your dog is over a year old and active, they
may enjoy agility. Agility is where your dog jumps over hurdles and goes over
obstacles such as the dog walk, a frame or through a tunnel. Agility is great
for creating a bond with your dog and as well as keeping the focused.
Most importantly, have fun with your dogs.