It’s 8am, the roller door goes down. It will now be another 9 hours until that door goes up, your car pulls in and I have the entertainment of your company again. So what shall I do in the mean time? The yard looks the same as it did yesterday. I’ve sniffed every leaf there is to sniff a thousand times before… I know! I’ll run border control! …………………………………………………………………………………………..done Now what?
Well, we all know what happens next. They dig up your plants, they chew your furniture, they bark constantly… enough to have a note from the neighbour waiting for you on your doorstep!
Sound familiar? These are all signs of boredom. And can we blame them? Could you imagine spending all that time alone in a non-stimulating environment? This is where environmental enrichment comes in to play.
Environmental enrichment stimulates your dog
mentally and physically to reduce inappropriate
boredom behaviours such as chewing, digging
and excessive barking.
As a caring loving dog owner it is
your responsibility to ensure you not only
provide your pet with physical exercise, but with
mental stimulation too. This will help them pass
the time whilst you’re out and give them something to look forward to with you leaving.
In our vet clinics. Coromandel Valley (near Blackwood0 and Mclaren Vale (near Seaford) This is all part of the service we provide. In our Puppy Preschools we teach you the Basic Dog Training skills you need to help your dog coope with you being gone all day.
If you need help Call today
But we can Let you in on the secret Now. Read on.
The Key is…
Be creative! Let’s look at a few ways we can enrich the environment and therefore the lives of our four-legged friends
Create a treasure hunt for your dog. Dogs love sniffing out food! This will also help burn a lot of that extra energy, while they hunt for their treats. Lock your dog inside whilst you hide small amounts of food around the backyard or throw some around on the lawn. Your dog’s normal biscuits or treats will be suitable
Provide a sandpit for your dog to dig and roll around in; you can buy one or try building one yourself. You can then hide and bury some treats in the sand. Dogs love to dig; this will create lots of fun and mental stimulation for your dog. It also gives your dog an appropriate place in the yard to dig, rather than the flower bed!
Treat balls and bustercubes are a tasty way to entertain your dog while they’re home alone. Instead of giving them their breakfast traditionally, try placing it in either a treat ball or bustercube. As your dog sniffs and pushes the cube or ball around their biscuits will gradually be released. Treat balls and bustercubes are available at most pet shops and vet clinics in a range of sizes to suit your dog.
Does your dog love water? Why not give them a paddling pool!
It doesn’t need to be huge, just enough for them to splash and sit in. The plastic children’s seashells are the perfect size. Ensure your dog can get in and out easily and the water isnt too deep for smaller breeds. Waterproof toys or treats such as apples, make hours of splashing entertainment.
Making tasty iceblockes will provide a long lasting distraction for your dog. Simply wash out an old container such as empty icecream container or takeaway food container, add some yummy treats or vegetables your dog will love, then add water and freeze! You could even try adding some chicken or beef stock for extra flavour. Once frozen, remove the plastic container and give the iceblock it to your dog. As the ice melts treats are exposed, giving your dog hours of tasty fun. This is ideal for summer.
If your dog has a strong jaw and loves to chew, kongs and everlasting treat balls are virtually indestructible. Kongs can be stuffed with your dogs most desired treats and the everlasting treat ball is as it sounds; it has a hard, longlasting treat inserted inside a tough rubber ball. Hours of amusement! Chewing releases endorphins for dogs, much like exercise does for us. This is why dogs love chewing and will enjoy knorring on a kong or treat ball. The cushions on your outdoor table setting will appreciate it!
It’s possible for your dog to grow bored of some toys which is why it’s important to have a variety. Try only allowing your dog to have a few toys at one time. Then rotate them throughout the week to prevent them losing interest.
Let your dog see past their yard. Some dogs enjoy knowing what is going on around them. Providing a peephole in the fence can give your dog plenty of entertainment watching people, dogs and other interesting things go by.
Come visit us! At Familypet Vet
These are just a few simple ways you can keep your dogs entertained whilst you are away from home. This is all part of basic Dog Training. It starts at Familypet Vet with Puppy Preschool. Ring us for an appointment
Mclaren Vale 08 83238522
Coromandel Valley 08 83703500
For more helpful tips and medical advice on separation anxiety,
come visit our friendly Team at McLaren Vale and Coromandel Valley, Familypet Vet
Remember- ‘A TIRED DOG, IS A HAPPY DOG’