Enrichment Ideas For Pets
We have collected together some fun and easy to create using everday items that are cheap and easy to source.
Enrichment Activities Using Cups
Take a stack of disposable cups, fill each cup with a small number of treats or kibble. Stack the cups and watch your dog roll and unstack the cups to release the hidden treats.
Cup Stack + Rope
Advance on the cup stack game by threading a rope through the cup stack. Tie a knot behind every cup to allow each cup to slide along the rope. Fill the cups with treats and stack them together.
Your dog will have to separate the cups by sliding them along the rope to release the treats.
Cups On A Line
This game requires: disposable cups, rope, scissors, two chairs, and some treats (I like to use my dogs kibble)
Using scissors punch a hole through each side of the cups. Thread through the rope and tie to the chairs. Fill with a few treats.
Your dog will paw and nose at the cups until they flip upside down and dump out their payload of treats.
Enrichment Ideas Using Crates/Boxes/Baskets
Crate + Paper
This one is nice and easy. Fill a box, washing basket, or crate with scrunched newspaper.
Scatter treats over letting it sink into the folds created by the scrunched paper.
If your dog eats dry kibble this is a great way to make feeding time more fun.
Crate + Toilet Rolls + Paper
Fill a box or crate with toilet rolls and scatter over some treats.
Your dog will have to remove the toilet rolls in order to reach the treats at the bottom.
Advance the game by stuffing newspaper in the toilet rolls.
This game in not reccomended for brachycephalic dogs as they may damage their eyes on the sharp edges of the toilet rolls.
Crate + Tennis Balls/Toys
Fill a box or crate with tennis balls or a collection of your dog's toys. Scatter treats through.
Your will love snuffling for treats through a box full of toys.
As a bonus treat you could hide a treat ball or kong at the bottom for your dog to find.
Crate On A Line
This game is like the cups on a line game. String up a crate on a line between two chairs. Fill with treats and let your dog puzzle over how they are going to retrieve the treats.
Turn a crate or washing basket into a snuffly enrichment toy.
Thread strips of fleece through the holes in the crate. The fleece will create a thick layer of folds through the entire crate. Your dog will be snuffling through the folds to find all the hidden treats.
This is another great game to use at mealtime, especially if your dog is a food guzzler as they will be forced to slow down.
Enrichment Ideas Using Bottles
Stuff a bottle with fleece or a cloth and fill with treats. Leave a small amount of fleece sticking out.
Your dog will have to pull on the fleece to release treats.
DIY Treat Dispenser
To make your treat dispensing toy all you need is a bottle, drill or scissors, treats.
Using a large drill but drill holes all over a plastic bottle (make sure the holes are big enough for the treats to slip through)
If you don't have a drill scissors or a craft knife may work as well.
Your dog will love throwing and shaking the bottle to release the treats.
Sock + Bottle
Make and cheap and inexpensive toy using a sock and a bottle.
The bottle makes a fun and crunchy sound as your dog bites down.
Enrichment games and toys are a great way to engage your pets' natural instincts, ease boredom on slow and rainy days, and allow owners and their beloved animals to connect and have fun.
Always supervise your pet and do not leave them alone with materials they could ingest. Take into consideration the age, breed, species, and general nature of your pet when deciding which games and toys would benefit your pet best. For example, brachycephalic dogs can damage their eyes on objects that have hard edges, and dogs that get frustrated easily shouldn't be left with anything that it is too difficult as this will only frustrate them more.
Posted: Thursday 5 August 2021