Copy by Brydie Charlesworth
Photography by Kristy Beck
Imagine being trapped in your home, day in day out with no tv, friends or activities to do and only the occasional stroll outside. Imagine the cabin fever you would get! This is the life that many dogs face every day. Lucky there are ways to keep your dog busy, happy and stimulated and we are going to cover a few of them today.
Environmental enrichment is critical for all dogs. Being stuck in a back yard is no fun and unless you give your dog something to do, they will find their own activity and chances are, you won’t like it! It’s just like kids being bored and drawing on your walls.
Environmental enrichment is great for relieving stress and boredom. Boredom can create anxiety in dogs and it’s best to avoid this where possible. Using the correct environmental enrichment can reduce problematic behaviours such as digging, chewing, destruction and inappropriate vocalising such as barking or howling.
Some great types of enrichment for Pugs are:
Doggy Icypoles- These are a great one to help keep your Pug busy and cool at the same time! Simply put your dogs favourite bone into a container and fill the rest with diluted stock and freeze.
Find it- This is great for teaching your Pug how to search for their food. Take their daily ration of dry food and scatter it from one side of your yard to the other and send them on a search!
Bob-a-Lot- This is a great toy for your Pug to try and retrieve it’s dry food from. Load up the toy from the top, screw on the top and teach your Pug how to push it around to release the food bit by bit. There are many great treat dispensing balls similar to Bob-A-Lot that will be great as well.
KONG Classics stuffed with food- I use this one all the time. The treats I use are 4 legs natural balls as they are healthy and highly appetitive. Because of the way Pug’s faces are structured, they won’t be able to retrieve the whole lot out of the KONG so you will need to clean the leftovers out at the end of each day. Once your Pug has figured this out, you can put the KONG in the freezer overnight and once again, help keep them cool!
It’s important when using environmental enrichment that you keep an eye on your dogs daily intake of food. Your environmental enrichment food should be a part of their diet so try to make it as healthy as possible. If you are worried about keeping track of the amount of food your Pug is eating, set aside your dogs daily intake and divide it up into portions for each activity. You can use as many environmental enrichment activities as you like per day. the sky is the limit.
It’s far easier to wear out your dog using brain training, rather than exercise. Combine the both of them each day and you are sure to have a happy dog 🙂