Do away with the food bowl, you don’t need it. Seriously, you’ll thank me later.
Our dogs have a natural instinct to search out food. So why do we just throw it into a bowl twice a day when our dogs are perfectly happy to work for it?
Dogs are, after all, natural hunters and opportunist scavengers. So give them a natural way to eat and create an outlet for their predatory energy. Exercise your dog’s mind by making them figure out how to get their food. Mental stimulation for your dog is just as important as physical activity and can decrease the chances of boredom-related behavior problems.
There are so many interactive food toys out there. Kong is one of the most popular and most effective. You can stuff it with your dog’s regular kibble mixed with canned food, yogurt, smashed banana – get creative! In my house, we love to freeze them for longer enjoyment.
My dog’s personal favorite is their “cheese ball” or the Tricky Treat Ball (it looks like swiss cheese). Some others to try include anything made by Busy Buddy and Buster Cube. You can even use an empty cardboard egg carton or the end of a paper towel roll, just make sure your dog doesn’t eat it after all the food is gone.
Every dog is different and has preferences of their own, so find what works for you and your best friend. I would suggest getting a couple different toys to switch up so your dog doesn’t get bored. What dog would get bored with food, right? I’m sure it happens, occasionally.
Please remember to supervise your dog the first few times you give them a new toy. Some dogs are heavy chewers and will destroy the toys instead of working out the problem of how to get to the food inside.
Make your dog work to eat. Have fun watching the wheels turn in your dog’s mind as they figure out how to feed themselves instead of lazily eating out of a bowl. And get ready to enjoy the benefits of a mentally exercised pup!
If you are experiencing behavior problems with your dog, let us know. We are always happy to listen and find a solution to your problem!
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