05/02/2022 by Lisa & Caroline 0 Comments
Fun Ideas to Keep Your Pet Happy Since Going Back to the Office
Enrichment is often overlooked by new dog owners, especially since we're all going back to work and will be spending long days out of the house at the office. Many people have discovered the hard way that their dog needs a LOT more than just walks and this can lead to families feeling the need to surrender their pet to shelters. We're here to help any way we can to prevent this from happening to help keep your pet entertained throughout the day.
Enrichment is often overlooked by new dog owners. The focus is putting our dogs on structured daily walks and hope that will be enough for them to be able to relax for the rest of the day. Many people have discovered the hard way that their dog needs a LOT more than just walks!
Imagine being a dog for a moment... you go out for an hour long walk, you then go home and sit on your couch or stare out of the window for a few hours, you might even have a short nap, all this time is spent either waiting for your next walk or your next meal. It would be difficult to not turn on the TV, read a book or look at some memes on your phone, right? Well it isn't all that fun for a dog either! Boredom often leads a dog to mischief, chewing your slipper, stealing food off the kitchen counter or even worse... getting into the bin and pulling everything out! In their world, this is all entertainment, a dog might even call it enrichment.
A few examples of these natural behaviours we see dogs do are sniffing, licking and searching for food. We can use these things that dogs love to do to our advantage. I often recommend owners of high energy dogs to #banthebowl, every time we feed our dog from a bowl, we are missing a perfect opportunity to use their food for enrichment.
With many owners now returning to the office, enrichment is going to become a more important tool than ever in order to keep your dog as stimulated and relaxed as possible while you are working.
Below are some examples of items we have in store that can help keep a dog busy:
The classic Kong was a game changer for many dog owners when it arrived on the scene. Suitable for any dog as it comes in many different sizes, the Kong can have wet or dry food inside of it, it can also be placed in the freezer to make it more difficult for food to come out. Some dogs will even continue to play with it once it's empty, as it will continue to smell like their food long after they have finished using it!
One of my personal favourites... the Kong Wobbler is an extremely robust enrichment toy and is fantastic for large dogs or dogs who are prone to destroying their toys. You twist it open and place their dry food inside, your dog will have to knock it around to get their food to fall out.
Trixie Junior Snuffle Mat: https://www.shaunaspetshop.ie/dogs?store-page=Trixie-Junior-Snuffle-Mat-p378492795
This is fantastic for dogs who love to use their nose, like Hounds and Spaniels, as well as dogs who have a more sensitive stomach and can't have many treats. Pour their kibble onto the mat and push it into the folds, your dog will have to use their nose to sniff it out, which is tiring work!
LickiMat Soother Treat Mat https://www.shaunaspetshop.ie/dogs?store-page=LickiMat-Soother-Treat-Mat-20cm-Orange-p241667453
This item is fantastic for flat faced breeds and toy breeds (French Bulldogs, Pugs and Chihuahuas for example) who can sometimes struggle using a traditional Classic Kong. Kong Easy Treat Paste, NatureDiet Feel Good wet food or try adding warm water to your dog's kibble to make it soft if they have a sensitive stomach. These are great options to use on a Lickimat. Licking is quite a calming behaviour for dogs to perform so they can get quite sleepy once they are finished with this. Pop it in the freezer to make it a little more difficult too!
We have more examples of other enrichment toys on our website, they can be found here: https://www.shaunaspetshop.ie/dogs?store-page=Enrichment-c48690221
Lets not forget about our other furry friends!
Enrichment isn't just for dogs, all animals benefit from it, even reptiles! Here are some other enrichment item examples for other animals.
Kong Puzzlements Pockets Enrichment Toy https://www.shaunaspetshop.ie/cats?store-page=Kong-Puzzlements-Pockets-Enrichment-Toy-p260208769
Kong Infused Cat Treat Gyro Toy https://www.shaunaspetshop.ie/cats?store-page=Kong-Infused-Cat-Treat-Gyro-Toy-p239498362
Catit Groovy Motion Fish - Blue https://www.shaunaspetshop.ie/cats?store-page=Catit-Groovy-Motion-Fish-Blue-p381392414
Rabbits & Guinea Pigs
Trixie Snack Roll Enrichment Toy https://www.shaunaspetshop.ie/small-pets?store-page=Trixie-Snack-Roll-Enrichment-Toy-p257927787
Rodipet® Birch Cannelloni con Nocciola https://www.shaunaspetshop.ie/small-pets?store-page=Rodipet%C2%AE-Birch-Cannelloni-con-Nocciola-p408271475
Comment below with your enrichment ideas to be featured on our website! We'd love to hear from you :)