Doyalson Animal Hospital | Dog with Ball Close Up

Enriching Your Dogs Life

There are lots of ways you can enrich your dog’s life and make it even better than it is now. Read on for some tips and ideas on things you can start doing today.

Daily walks are essential for your dog to not only stimulate their brain but to give them a chance to stretch their legs and burn off some energy. It’s also a nice time to bond with your dog and a great excuse for you to fit some exercise into your life too. Ideally a 60 minute walk a day which can be broken up is needed but even if you only have time for a short stroll around the block it’s better than not taking them out at all. Imagine just sitting in your house day in day out and never going out, you would go mad. That’s what it is like for dogs that don’t get taken for regular walks and can trigger unwanted behaviour.

Toys are a great way to keep your dog busy and entertained. We sell a variety of Kong toys along with a recipe sheet with some great ideas of what can be put inside the Kong to keep your dog busy for hours. A great tip for summer is to put the Kong in the freezer to make an ice block for your dog to keep them cool and entertained. We also have Kong wobblers which your dog can knock around to work out how to get their treats out. Homemade toys are a fun way to get creative for your pet. Here are a few ideas you can try at home:-

  • Put treats inside an empty water bottle making sure the plastic ring has been removed and watch them work out how to get the treats out.
  • Collect 6 toilet rolls and a soft drink or beer 6 pack cardboard carrier. Put a treat in each toilet roll and wrap in a layer of paper, then put each wrapped toilet roll in a compartment of the carrier and pop a couple of treats in between, then wrap the whole thing in a layer of paper. Your pet has to rip through each layer of paper to get to their treats.
  • A water bottle inside a large sock or with an old T-shirt wrapped around it is great for dogs who love noisy toys.
  • In summer a chew toy frozen in water like a popsicle is lovely and cooling.
  • Hanging toys with treats inside in the garden is a good way to get your pet to use their brain to work out how to get the treats out.

Keeping your dogs mind active and stimulated is just as important as exercise so puzzles, socialising and outings are an important part of a happy life. Spend time with your pet teaching them some tricks, this will help strengthen your bond and is a great way to distract them when something scary or new is happening. By getting them concentrated on you and what you are asking them to do they won’t be so bothered by anything else going on around them. Make sure you have some yummy high value treats cut up small so they only get a tiny piece after completing each task, you don’t want to be over feeding them.

We are very lucky on the Central Coast and there are lots of dog friendly places you can take your dog such as beaches, off leash dog parks, state forests and some camping sites. Always make sure you have a good quality secure collar and lead and plenty of poo bags. While it’s great to let your dog run and socialise please be sensible and use caution when approaching new dogs.

Most of all love, love and more love and letting them be a true part of your family will go a long way in enriching your dog’s life and producing a well behaved happy furry family member.