Today’s guest writer is Robbi Hess, Story Editor at Positively Woof. Robbi is writing about six ways to provide canine enrichment for your pooch.

Canine enrichment is something pet parents are talking about. They know it’s not enough to leave their beloved pooches home alone all day staring out the window awaiting their return. They want to do what they can to ensure their dogs are happy, healthy and not lonely.

Pet parents are looking for ways to enrich the environment in which their dogs live so they thrive while they’re left home alone. An enriched canine environment can also:

  1. Alleviate dog separation anxiety
  2. Alleviate boredom
  3. Enhance their time home alone with sights and sounds that are scientifically-proven to provide enrichment and entertainment

You may already be enriching your dog’s environment with toys you give him, the games you play, the foods you feed, the sounds he hears and the touches of your hand.

As we shared in a previous article, which you can read here about the importance of canine enrichment, scent is a big part of your dog’s life. Anything that stimulates your dog’s sense of smell, sight, touch and taste help him more thoroughly enjoy life! Playing games, running in water, sniffing “dead things” in the woods and letting him dig and roll support his senses.

6 Types Of Canine Enrichment

The food your dog eats can enhance his environment. How? Put food in a puzzle toy. Let him “work” for his supper. Let him hunt and forage and employ his olfactory senses to sniff out dinner before he gobbles it down. Pet stores are ideal for finding puzzle food toys that give your dog a chance to play with his food before he eats!

Add items to your dog’s environment – whether it’s his crate or the livingroom where he waits for you to return home. Put a ramp or other piece of agility equipment in the backyard for him to run on or through. Take a hike. Explore a new and different neighborhood on your next walk.

Different texture toys. Encourage your dog to play with and engage with new toys. Offer him rope toys, stuffed toys, hard to chew rubber bones, toys that beep and squeak. Pique his curiosity with new toys; swap out current toys for new ones then trade those out after a few weeks to keep him interested

Get social with your pooch. Interacting with other people and dogs will enrich his life and also build his confidence. You can take him to the dog park to help him socialize. Go shopping at your favorite pet store, let him get petted and maybe even pick out a new toy. Take him for car rides. A well-socialized dog is generally happier. Also, if he’s socializing, he is running around and getting tired out and a tired dog is a happy dog!

Training is another way to enrich your dog’s life and to enhance your bond with him. When you train together you are building rapport and you’re also learning to read your dog’s body language which will lead to a more satisfying relationship. In addition to bonding, a trained dog is less likely to chew up your favorite pair of shoes when left home alone!

DOGTV programming. Turn on DOGTV when you’re in the room with your dog to get him accustomed to the dog-centric and scientifically-developed programming. When you leave him home alone, DOGTV programming will enrich his environment and help alleviate his separation anxiety. Go here to sign up for your FREE DOGTV  trial subscription.

Remember, your dog won’t sit and watch television the way you do, but he will benefit from the sights and sounds of it nonetheless.

What types of enrichment toys and games does your dog enjoy?