Is your dog as bored as you during isolation? Maybe you can’t leave your house or take them for their usual walks. Either way, we’re here to rescue your pup (and the household items they may destroy) with four enrichment ideas from the Senior Animal Behaviourist at RSPCA Victoria.
Enrichment is a really important part of animal welfare. It enables animals to use their natural instincts and provides mental and physical stimulation to keep them healthy and happy. It’s even more important when they may be spending more time at home – remember animals can get bored too!
These ideas will help your pet expend energy and build independence, helping them to relax and develop the bond between you. And most importantly, provide hours of fun for both of you!
Dot their favourite treats around the house and let them use their nose to hunt out the delicious prize. Not only will your dog gain some extra exercise with this activity, using their noses releases a big hit of dopamine which makes them happy.You can also play this guy by hiding their favourite toy, or even you! Increase the level of entertainment over time by making the hiding spots more difficult.
Agility courses are a great option if you can’t leave your house to exercise your pooch. You can use treats as motivation to take out the winning spot in their own personal dog show!
Spending more time at home has its benefits, namely being able to spend more time with our pets. If you have been considering target training and have a bit more time on your hands, now is the perfect time to do it.
Target training is teaching your dog to touch a target, often using a clicker as a prompt. It builds on dogs’ naturally curiosity by rewarding them for investigating the specified target repeatedly, until they can do it on command without a reward.
Target training opens up endless possibilities to teach your dog a whole host of nifty tricks. It’s particularly useful for high energy dogs who are begging for their intelligence to be utilised.
If you’re trying to save some dollars there’s no need to go and buy a fancy toy, many household items can be repurposed into a tricky puzzle for your pooch.
If you have a greedy dog and find you are giving them more treats than usual while you spend more time at home together, these exercises are a great way to make them work for their usual daily food.
Keep up-to-date with tips on looking after your pets during COVID-19 here.