Enrichment ideas for hot summer days
During this hot weather it can be difficult to keep our furry friends as entertained as usual. However, enrichment doesn’t just have to come in the form of outdoor walks, and there are plenty of ways we can keep our best friends occupied during a heatwave… with record breaking temperatures next week, here are some ideas to keep your best friend happy and occupied whilst being safe in this weather.
If your dog is anything like our puppy Noodles, then food is definite way to their heart! Using food as part of an enrichment activity can be really beneficial to your pooch. You can try ideas such as…
- Puzzle feeders during meal times
- Stuff a kong full of delicious goodies then freeze - making a perfect cool snack!
- Try a lick mat coated in peanut butter, cream cheese or dog paté to create a sense appealing snack
- Use a snuffle mat to promote natural foraging instincts
- Hide treats around your house or garden to encourage scent work
In order to be happy, dogs need to exhibit normal behavioural patterns which includes sufficient play time! Whether it’s solo, with other dogs in the household or with you as an owner… playtime is a good way to keep pets enriched whilst indoors.
Why not treat your dog to a new toy? Cooling toys such as this freezable ball below, is a great way to keep your dog cool but also encourage play time. Or you could use a dog friendly paddling pool, creating a fun but hydrating play session!
TOP TIP: Try rotating your dogs’ toys weekly to keep them more enticing!
Enrichment isn’t just physical, in fact mental stimulation is just as important for your dog. Using reward based training is a great way to keep your dog focused but also reinforce your bond with each other. Mental stimulation is proven to lower stress, reduce boredom and combat unwanted behaviours in dogs. So why not try teaching your dog a new trick this weekend?
Sensory enrichment is brilliant for keeping dogs entertained and reduce stress. This can include anything that stimulates sound, touch, smell, sight or taste.
Using new toys with various materials, textures and colours be a good way to encourage sensory stimulation. Crinkly toys are a personal favourite for Noodles!
Trying a new frozen snack can be a great way to stimulate their tastebuds and make snack time more interesting!
If you’re looking for a summer garden project, check out these amazing dog sensory gardens from The Dogs Trust & Bath Cats and Dogs home.
They are a great way to enrich your dogs senses in your own back garden using ideas such as:
- Dog Friendly Herbs
- Play areas
- Artificial grass
- Sandpit digging areas
Stay cool and stay safe everyone!