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  • Writer's pictureTeaching Tails

Feeding Enrichment!

Updated: Aug 21, 2022

So you know me I absolutely adore enrichment feeding. By simply ditching the food dish you have a simple way to add some fun enrichment activities to your dogs day. You are allowing them to engage in innate behaviors such a scenting, chewing. licking and scavenging and they will love it!

So here is some of our favourite toys and ideas how we fill them.

Snuffle Mat - we use for hiding a few small treats inside. You can easily feed kibble this way. You can also just scatter feed into the grass in the garden or out on walks.

Kong wobbler - we just use a handful treats or a whole dish of dry food. They can have lots of fun pushing it around and finding the food that has fallen out!

Rubber Kong - So many filling options, here is a few ideas.

  • Your wet food if used.

  • Taking a little dry and add a little hot water to make a paste. Now mix in some crunchy bits and fill.

  • Jr products pâté with a little Trixie Paste

  • Organic baby food pouch

  • Chicken breast

  • Fruit with natural yoghurt

  • A favorite Vegetable with fish 🐠

  • Usually topped with a small tantalizing layer of natural yoghurt, soft cheese with one or two of his Carnilove teeth and gums treats oh possibly one of the Pets unlimited chewy sticks pushed through the middle.

Kongs get hidden around the garden on a nice day to make them extra fun.

K9 connectable - one of Chester favorite toys!

filings are the same as the rubber kong.

Toppls - Another favorite or ours and great for the dogs who find a kong to be a little frustrating!

Fillings again just like above!

The recycling - best fun here’s a few ideas!

  • egg boxes same fillings as above just given to him in the egg box to deconstruct it.

  • Cardboard boxes to tear apart and find the treats.

  • Plastic bottle with treats or dry food inside. To toss about, have fun as well as scavenge to find the treats that have fallen out. Remove plastic top, small ring and labeling.

  • Toilet Roll ends - made into treat parcels. I have used these as a recall reward also left them around the house for him to ‘steal’.

Puzzle Feeding - so many available on the market a great way to give some much needed mental stimulation. If they can do it is 20 seconds - AWESOME! puzzles aren’t about slowing down feeding they are about problem solving. The more you give them the puzzle to complete the faster they will get, let’s break some records with them!

Natural Chews - no rawhide

Pizzles, pig ears, rabbit feet, chicken feet, goats legs. There is a whole range of horrors and to us they are smelly and disgusting to our dogs, WOW! They love them. Perfect for teething puppies, for the dog, the dog who gets over excited when people visit or to help the over excited dog learn to settle.

The products in the photo are some of Chester’s favorite. It is so worth trying different fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, treats etc to see what does your dog actually love? What treats are their favorite?

We are lucky to feed Butternut Box therefore filling kongs etc is easy as we can just use his meal with tasty toppers or chews in it. Even if you didn’t want to feed it as their meal they do 100g pouches which are perfect for filling kongs, pasting on licky mats or as a topper for the fussy pups who need something to encourage them to eat their dry food. With a nutritional value on All about dog food website of over 90% you don’t have to worry you feeding to much treats. If you want to give it a go you can use teachingtails at the checkout for a whooping 75% off your first order 50% of your second.

Our Favorite pet shop are :

  • Pet Warehouse at Harry Road Hillsborough

  • Posh Pets Gilnahirk

  • Oh Doggy Ladas Drive Belfast

  • Natural Raw feeding (NI) Millisle

  • Barkilicious Lisburn

So like everything think health & safety first. Introduce new foods one at a time to ensure it agrees with your pups digestion and always supervise them when using interactive feeders, chews or your recycling.

One thing to remember is frustration is not enriching. So if you pup is getting frustrated with a complicated puzzle or a tightly packed kong you are not getting the desired response that enrichment should bring, help them out and next time make it easier for them. Getting things right and winning makes them feel more confident so don’t set them up to fail.

Do you already do enrichment feeding?

What’s your dogs favorite?

How do you fill yours?

Cathy & Chester 🐾

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