While you’re out, or if you just need your pup to stay occupied or if your dog loves to have a puzzle or maze to keep their brain whirling, organising some Boredom Busting activities can be a great idea.
Kongs & LickiMats
Kongs are great for all sizes and ages, they start from puppy tiny right the way up to the black ultimate large for big chewers. These can be filled with a huge range of goodies to keep your pup interested and their mind whirling on how to get the yummy treats out. They can be frozen to take longer, or as a cooling treat on a hot day. You can really mix and match, throw in new flavours to keep it interesting!
The LickiMats are a silicon square with little soft pegs sticking up, these can be spread and smeared with goodies. The licking action that these need to get the treats off can be calming for dogs, like the sensation of grooming. They can also be frozen to take longer to lick away at and have a cold treat.
We always get asked what you can put in or on these from owners so here are some dog safe foods below, you can layer them up or mix them together. Introduce your dog to new flavours or use up some leftovers.
- Apples (no core, stems, or seeds)
- Baby Food (natural)
- Blackberries (will stain – use with caution)
- Blueberries (will stain – use with caution)
- Broth (watch out for salt content and spices)
- Brussels Sprouts
- Cream Cheese
- Cheese (watch for fat content)
- Cottage Cheese
- Flax Seeds
- Green Beans
- Honey (in moderation due to high sugar content)
- Liver Paste
- Oranges (in moderation)
- Peanut Butter
- Potatoes (no skin or spices)
- Pumpkin (canned, but not pie filling)
- Rice (cooked)
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Sweet Potato
- Tuna (Meat and water)
- Watermelon (seedless)
- Yogurt (plain, lowfat, Greek)
Do remember that this will contribute to your dogs daily calorie intake, so feeding should be adjusted to ensure they are not eating more than they need.
Interactive Balls, Mazes & Snuffle Mats
Keep your pups mind busy, and let them show you just how clever they can be! There are a variety of great balls that wobble, boards to flip the doors on and mats to get their noses suck into available now. Get your dog interested with a simple game, letting them know there are yummy treats in here, and see this is how you get them. Once they know this is a fun toy that could end in something delicious if they work it out they will be motivated to concentrate on working this thing out!
Mystery/Boredom Buster Boxes or Bags
These can be such a quick DIY project or give your recycling another use before heading off. Pick a cardboard box, or paper gift bag that you have around and no longer need, stuff with newspaper, wrapping, old paperwork you no longer need (anything you don’t mind being torn up and is safe for your dog to pull at) while your stuffing hide some treats and toys in the stuffing. Give the box or bag to your pup to work out how exactly to get at the goodies inside. This may end up with your living room looking like Christmas Day after all the presents have been unwrapped, but so very fun to do as well!
You know your dog best, if they are still learning, a big destroyer or one that likes to gobble down and try and eat anything even if it’s not food do supervise them around any boredom busters or toys you give them.