How to Make A Happy Dog - Enrichment with Snack at Franks Treats...
We used to call it dog training, then we called it play - but what we now call dog enrichment is a fast-growing trend within the dog community. No matter what we call it, the key to a happy and healthy dog is regular enrichment, allowing them to get back to nature by playing, chasing, smelling, chewing and scavenging.
By encouraging your dog to engage in these natural behaviours, you allow them to be physically, emotionally and mentally satisfied. In short, you’re making a happy dog!
How to Make a Happy Dog
Taking your energetic pup out for an hour walk is beneficial for both you and them! And you’ll have a calm dog who is settled once back home. Dog walking and helping your dog socialise is always going to be very important - even if you are limited on time or ability.
But no matter how limited you are, spending a little bit of time every day with your dog at home can radically improve their quality of life too. If you can give them simple activities at home, it will help them develop and be happy. That’s where dog enrichment exercises come in. We know we need to give our dogs’ physical activities, but the point is, mental stimulation is just as important.
Make Your Dog a Scientist!
Ok not really, but finding lots of great dog activities that you can do at home is easy. We loved Victoria’s RSPCA blog offering 8 enrichment ideas for your dog. We’ll discuss a few others that we personally love too that you might want to think about. A 30-minute brain game can tire your dog out for hours! Lifeline Dogs states that giving your dog a problem to solve can be so much more rewarding and tiring than a walk alone. Although the majority of people have dogs for pets, mental stimulation and training is essential in having a happy and well-behaved dog.
We’ll look at a few other ideas here but you can always join one of the many different groups on Facebook, where dog lovers can share their brilliant enrichment exercises, giving you some amazing new ideas every week. Canine Enrichment and Canine Brain Games and Enrichment are some of our favourites.
Here’s our top 5 enrichment games!
1. Cardboard Fun
Old shoe boxes, toilet roll, paper, your Snack at Franks box and even the finished paper bag your dog food comes in! Anything your dog can rip up and have some good old destructive fun with is great for mental stimulation.
It can also deter your dog from chewing things you wish they wouldn’t… like your brand-new sofa. Chewing or tearing things up (like paper) can also be a displacement behaviour, a way to release pent-up energy or stress, so maybe you really can use the ‘my dog ate my homework’ excuse.
This is Thor the Pomeranian enjoying his Franks chew!
For young dogs, chewing and ripping is a way to relieve pain that might be caused by incoming teeth. For older dogs, it's nature's way of keeping jaws strong and teeth clean. Chewing also combats boredom and can relieve mild anxiety or frustration.
Snack at Franks gives you 3 long lasting chews which are great for catering to your dogs’ natural behaviours. You can also hide these in cardboard boxes, roll them up in paper or hide them around the house for your dog to sniff out, just for some added brain fun!
The snuffle mat is a homemade toy that provides the dog with an opportunity to sniff and search for hidden treats. The snuffle mat consists of fleece strips tied on to a rubber mat with holes in it. The loose ends of the fleece are on top and provide the hiding spots for the treats. You can buy snuffle mats online or even make your own, find out how to here.
Lick mats a great for putting your dogs’ food into or even some peanut butter. It makes your dog work a little harder for their food and tires their brain out at the same time. The small spaces are perfect for squishing tiny treats into.
Learning Something New
Don’t forget dogs need just as much love and entertainment as any human, so why not make your bond even stronger by teaching them a new trick. Now, if you have an older dog, you might be thinking ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ but trust me, if a treat is involved, your dog will learn almost anything! My 14-year-old Westie is learning how to walk under my legs for his treat! The truth is, our dogs love spending time with us and we should cherish every moment we have with them.