5 Canine Enrichment Ideas on a Budget
Updated: May 22
Enrichment doesn’t need to be expensive, and you don’t have to spend money to get started. In fact, there are many things you can do using things you’ve already got at home!
Please remember that enrichment should always be a positive experience for your dog. It sounds simple, but it is crucial to work to your dog's current skill levels. As your dog’s confidence and new skills grow, you can make the challenges you give to your dog harder. We’ve included options for everyone.
1. Muffin tray and tennis balls Simply place treats into a muffin tray and cover the holes with tennis balls.
Level down: cover the muffin tray with a bath mat, leaving a hole pulled up to make some of your treats visible. This is a great way to invite your dog to start exploring and playing. Once they are confident interacting with the tray, add a few tennis balls. Level up: Once they are great at uncovering the tray. Put the tray into a closed box! Level up again: Within the box, cover the muffin tray with scrunched newspaper! Stand back and watch your dog work to find a favourite treat! 2. Frozen treats Freeze some of your dog's favourite treats into an ice block! Let them enjoy and uncover the treats within.
3. Rolled up towels Roll some treats into a towel or bath mat and let your dog unroll it to find the treats throughout.
Level down: simply put some food on the floor and lay the towel over the top. Praise your dog for interacting and moving the towel.
Level up: Tuck the end of the towel into a box or plastic container so it doesn’t unravel as easily. Encourage the dog to interact with the towel to get to the treats.
4. Scavenger Hunts / Scatter Bikkie Snuffle
Put your dog's food or dried treats in multiple places around the house or your yard, or simply scatter it amongst the grass and let your dog search!
Level down: make the search area small. Just one room or a small area of lawn.
Level up: use your entire yard or house.
5. Recycling pit Add loose cardboard boxes, empty toilet rolls, plastic bottles, scrunched up towels etc to a large tub (kiddie shell pools are great) and scatter food throughout. Level down: add fewer items to scavenge through. Level up: Add some food into closed boxes, stuff scrunched paper and food into tubes so there are multiple small puzzles within the bigger puzzle!
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