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Why is enrichment so important for my dog?

WHAT IS ENRICHMENT?

Enrichment is something that you can add to your dogs environment that they can choose to interact with that results in a positive impact on their physical/mental well-being. Relieves boredom and stress helps to prevent problematic behaviours that can be caused by stress/boredom


In the same way we do, stress can really affect a dogs health so providing enrichment to help relieve that stress is extremely beneficial to their overall health & wellbeing.


SO HOW DO I IMPLEMENT ENRICHMENT FOR MY DOG?

To enable us to choose the best enrichment activities for our pups its important to look at their natural behaviours to find out what they really enjoy.

SNIFFING

Your dogs sense of smell is their primary sense, it is also the way they explore the world around them.


SOCIALISING

The majority of dogs enjoy spending time with both humans and other dogs ( please bare in mind just like us humans not all dogs are social butterflies - ensure they are comfortable around dogs and humans

CHEWING

We've all been through the chewing puppy stage, but dogs of all ages love to chew, its really calming for them, helps to alleviate stress and an activity that will help them to relax.

one of the simplest ways i have found to provide enrichment for my dog is to get creative with feeding them. Instead of feeding them from a bowl i sometimes use their food to create some fun activities.


PUZZLE TOYS

These are great to really get your dogs brain working. Helping them to work out how to use the puzzle is also a great way of strengthening your bond too! We have a few different times of puzzle toys on our website that vary in levels of difficulty. However if can be as using a muffin tin and some tennis balls - hide some of your dogs food/treats inside the muffin tin and cover them over with a tennis ball.

Doing this means your dog has to work out how to remove the tennis balls to get to the treat, although if your dog is more ball oriented than treats cover with something else that is easy for your dog to move.


TREAT DISPENSERS

Every dog needs a toy that can be stuffed/dispenses treats such as a kong. They can play with them, chew them and can be stuffed with food. They are super versatile which is why I love them so much! They're great filled with their food allowance, raw food, wet food, peanut butter, cream cheese, meat paste literally the list is endless. The licking and chewing helps a dog to self soothe and will naturally relax and calm them down.

Check out our new range of Sodapup Treat Dispenser Toys

Bonus tip! Pop them in the freezer for even longer lasting enrichment for your dog.

LONG LASTING CHEWS

Chewing is such a great tool to help calm your dog, it encourages them to relax and settle down. We have lots of long lasting treats on our website, including the 'Boredom Box' which is full of longer lasting treats. The reason we love these so much is that chewing releases endorphins, leaving your dog calm, relaxed and ready for a snooze.


Giving your dog access to a long lasting chew also help to prevent unwanted/destructive chewing of other items. If this is something your dog is doing rather than punishing them for chewing the wrong thing, try to redirect them onto the long last chew that they are allowed to have. They'll soon click on that the chewing the right things will lead to praise and much tastier than your skirting boards.


SCATTER FEEDING

Super simple! Scatter some of their food on the floor and let them use their sense of smell to find it! Begin using a place that is easy for your dog to find the food, once their happy add in some variation

  • Scatter the food out of sight

  • Scatter on different surface/texture/levels

  • Scatter in a cardboard box

  • Scatter in the grass (Dry Grass)

This allows them to use their sense of smell, gives their brain a work out and gives them a good confidence boost.

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