Let your dog play with their food

Looking for ways to keep your dog busy? Meals are the perfect opportunity.

Instead of handing out food straight into your pooch’s bowl, make mealtime fun and interesting. Your dog has natural hunting and scavenging behaviours, and using toys and games are a great way to put these to use.

  1. Scatter feed

One of the easiest ways to make your pet work for their food – scatter it around an area or space. Spreading their food around a safe, secure yard is especially enriching as your dog will need to snuffle through the grass to find it.

If you don’t have a yard, scatter it around a room that you don’t mind getting messy, and then pop some safe obstacles in there, too.

Dog eating kibble scatter feeding enrichment

Image Source: gentledogtrainers.com.au

  1. Use treat dispensers

There are lots of toys that will keep your dog busy while they figure out how to get their food. Instead of putting extra treats in these toys – pop your dog’s dinner, lunch or breakfast inside.

Mix it up! Using the same toy over and over is boring. Keep your dog guessing by rotating these toys every few days and even by using various toys in one meal time.

PETstock has a vast range of toys and treat dispensers for your pup. Click here to visit their site. 

  1. Make a puzzle

You can make a puzzle for your dog with household items. And by putting their meal inside, they’ll be keen to figure it out.

Making a puzzle toy is as simple as popping food inside toilet rolls, cereal boxes, shoe boxes, egg cartons and even pizza boxes. Increase the difficulty by putting some scrunched-up newspaper inside too.

Take puzzle-making to the next level and click on the links to make an extreme enrichment box or snuffle mat.


Extreme enrichment box - dog enrichment toy
Dog with snuffle mat enjoying enrichment treat

  1. Play hide-and-seek

Hide your dog’s food all over the house and a secure yard. Then, encourage them to go and find their food.

Once Fido’s got the hang of this, you can start making your hiding places even trickier.

Remember to mix up your hiding places and to keep them safe.

  1. Use a clam pool

Fill a clam pool with sand, toys, scrunched newspaper or tissue paper and then hide your dog’s food in amongst everything.

Top tip: fill the pool with water on hot days, and this will help to keep your pooch cool, too.

AWL team member and dog in shell pool with toy - dog enrichment