Why you need to give your dog a balanced day

 

For at least 200 years dogs have been carefully bred for specific purposes. This has generated some incredible design feats including dogs with a sense of smell so exquisite that they can detect a single scent molecule, dogs that demonstrate incredible speed and agility and dogs that can be the most dedicated companion.  Dogs are now recognised as fully fledged family members and many of the roles fulfilled in the past are now carried out by humans or automated machines. Sensitive alarms have replaced the hyper-vigilant guard dog, rat traps have replaced the heroic Jack Russell terrier and Dalmatians’ lack a horse carriage to trot next to.

Times have changed….many of our dogs have become unemployed and with unemployment comes an increase in training problems and behavioural disease.

Environmental enrichment strengthens your dog’s brain fitness through meaningful ‘employment’. Enrichment is aimed at providing positive, independent and self-rewarded activities that meet the individual needs of your dog thereby reducing the amount of time your dog has available to perform undesirable activities. Enrichment can take many forms; Kalmpets shares some ideas below:

Say ‘no’ to the food bowl!

There are very few activities dogs can perform independent of their humans. Feeding is one of these. If your dog inhales their daily ration in a nanosecond then their one daily job is over in a matter of moments. Feeding enrichment stretches this job over the course of the day presenting food in a way that allows for independent and self-rewarded activity.

Dogs naturally enjoy foraging for their food. Providing opportunities where they can search for their food stimulates their senses and gives them a productive job to do.

Kalmpets top feeding enrichment ideas are below (***note: all toys have the potential to become a hazard if ingested, always monitor your dog to ensure they are not ingesting non-food items***)

Recycle your recyclables:

Treasure hunts:

Dog Slurpie:  fill empty ice-cream or yoghurt containers with dilute chicken or beef stock, add a few treats and/or toys then freeze. Deliver the frozen block from the container and let the slurping begin!

Let your dog follow their nose

A good belt-out run or aerobic activity helps to maintain physical health however the more you walk/run your dog the fitter they become and the more you have to walk/run your dog…… Daily exercise is important but Kalmpets challenges you to focus on content rather than distance when walking your dog. Dogs are ‘one big nose on four legs’ and they enjoy nothing better than a good sniffing session. Sniffing is energetically expensive leaving your dog both satisfied and exhausted.

Sniffing session tips:

Exercise tips:

At-home dogification

Visit the resources section of the kalmpets website to download our pdf.

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having with your pet?