As well as Ditching the food bowl below are some simple, low-cost games to help keep your dog entertained. All games should be supervised in case your dog damages the material you have created the game out of. Also, take care to ensure your dog doesn’t become unduly frustrated by a game. Perhaps help them out to start with, for example, tip out a treat to get them going? Not all games suit all dogs – experiment!
Does your dog love the sound of plastic bottles or simply just trying to get things out? This is a very simple game. Simply take a plastic bottle and remove the top. Drop some treats into the bottle and let your dog get them out. This should be supervised (like all games in case they bite through the bottle and causes sharp edges)
Make a wide enough slit in an old tennis ball to enable treats to fall out fairly easily, insert some treats and throw it to your dog.
Stuff a food toy (e.g. a Kong). Start with dry food, and the better your dog gets, the harder you make it. Eventually, you could stuff it with perhaps wet dog food, sweet potato or unsweetened natural yoghurt and freeze the contents – look online for ideas? Mix layers of different food.
Another great DIY Game is getting a load of toilet rolls, standing them up in a bowl, and dropping food into them. If your dog finds this easy, then use a rubber band to tie the rolls together.
This is a fun and simple brain game that any kind of dog that likes sniffing will enjoy. Simply put a piece of food on the floor and then spread a large towel over it and watch them figure out how to get the food.
A variation of this game is to take a large bath towel and place it on the floor folded in half lengthways. Place a couple of treats on it and roll the towel over the treats and repeat until the towel is fully rolled up. Let your dog unwrap the treats.
This is a great game to do out in the fresh air of your garden. Throw your dog’s food on the decking or into the grass or hide it in various places, and let them spend 15 to 20 minutes hunting for it. I also play this game out on walks hiding food in the cracks and crevices of fallen trees.
NB If you are thinking about getting your dog chews to help keep them entertained, please avoid Rawhide. Our article on the dangers of rawhide will explain why
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