tr?id=1702533549982635&ev=PageView&noscript=1 Enriching Your Dog's New Year!

Enriching Your Dog's New Year!

on 18 January, 2018

Fun Feeder Friday for Fido

Dropping your dog’s food in a bowl can be easy and convenient, but it only provides sustenance. Dogs have to eat, so why not use one of the most positive tools you can to improve their quality of life? Food!

This can be as simple as getting creative with a box and some toilet paper rolls. Dolly had never eaten out of a box before this video. Frankly, she was quite scared of the box the first time she saw it. She was ducking and slinking away from wherever it was. Those are pretty clear indicators that she was nervous about the addition of this new item in her environment. Through habituation she became more comfortable, and was eventually able to experience it in an enriching way!

These feeders may seem elementary to us, but we control our dog’s environment. It’s up to us to make sure they’re stimulated, challenged and entertained. A basic box feeder gently introduced has grown Dolly’s confidence. That’s one step in the right direction to help her engage less fearfully with the world around her.

As her comfort level grows with this activity, I’ll make it more challenging by increasing the number of toilet paper rolls. One day, I’ll fill only certain rolls with food for her to select and destroy. Dolly delights in shredding toilet paper rolls. This is an exercise that is sure to keep her busy on cold, icy, winter nights when we can’t get out for our walks.

For more easy mealtime enrichment ideas, check out our Jan 1st blog on 5 DIY enrichment feeders for Fido. Also, join us here and on Facebook every Friday in January to see those feeders in action.

*always supervise use of enrichment feeders and do not allow consumption of non-food items




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  • I love working with Debra at SmartyPaws. She has creative and insightful ideas to help my dog through various struggles. I've learned a lot about how to approach a problem area and think about it from the dog's perspective and how to motivate through positive training. Deb truly loves dogs and has a unique plan for each client. I also appreciate the email re-cap of our sessions and what I can work on for the next session. This has helped me to break the process down into smaller steps so that my dog and I can make progress as a team. My dog loves Deb. She makes the training process fun. I have bonded with my dog even more through the training process we've gone through. Thanks, Deb!


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