Over the summer period, canine members of the family are often left at home while their humans are out on day trips, or are expected to behave while a yummy smelling BBQ is cooked up in the back yard. When family and friends are gathering together to enjoy each others company, we sometimes forget about what our dogs are doing.
For some of the more ‘food orientated’ canines, it is a massive ask to expect them not to pinch food off the BBQ, or off a plate. Some dogs may also go for a ‘day trip’ of their own, while their humans are out exploring without them. Many problems can arise around this time of year, often simply due to boredom and lack of entertainment; these are issues that can easily be prevented simply through a little creativity and DIY.
How can I entertain my dog to keep them out of mischief?
- Fill a ‘Kong’, treat ball, or puzzle ball with dog food or treats. You can also plug the open ends, fill with water and/or treats and freeze (remember to reduce ‘normal’ food amount on these days to avoid over-feeding).
- Fill a container with a small amount of low salt stock powder mixed in water, add some treats or other dog food and freeze. Give to your dog on a hot day in the shade!
- Fill up a kid’s paddling pool to help your pet cool off.
- Scatter your dog’s biscuits/food around the yard so that they have to work to find their food.
- Get the kids to make a game of hiding portions of your dog’s food or treats around the yard, so that when you go out your dog has a ‘treasure hunt’ to entertain them. Try this with their favourite toys or yummy bones
- Hang a toy on a bungy cord, attach to a high tree or fence and let the fun begin!
- Create a ‘snuffle blanket’ using a rubber grip bath mat and some old material; hide the food under the layers for your dog to find using their doggie senses.
- Give your dog their own big chew bone or similar to gnaw on, this will keep them entertained, leaving you free to enjoy your BBQ!
- Vary your dog’s toys! The same toys every day get a bit boring
There are endless possibilities for entertainment if you use your imagination. These ideas can also be used on an everyday basis, and will go a long way in preventing problem behaviours from arising. For more ideas or for further discussion around this topic, stop into your nearest Anexa FVC clinic to chat to a Vet Nurse.