There are a lot of factors involved in canine enrichment and this week, we’re discussing sensory, nutritional and home enrichment. AT DOGTV we understand, and work with professionals who, want to assure our canine companions are safe, happy and healthy — mentally and physically — when they are at home!
Dogs view the world through their noses. As we wait for “smell-evision” to arrive, we have to explore new ways to keep pets entertained. Luckily, there are many ways to integrate scent enrichment into a day. There are dozens of ways to bring olfactory enrichment to your dogs.
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Getting Ready To Kick Off Canine Enrichment Week!
It’s believed humans store our deepest memories as scents, and we have fewer than six million olfactory receptors. Imagine how a dog, who has more than 300 million olfactory receptors, experiences the world.
Your dog will love to explore new scents and you can do this in many different ways: change out the laundry detergent scent you use or choose a new type of soap to use one day and see how your dog responds.
Some animal rescues use toys filled with a new smelling herb (valerian root, anise or mints) or even a cooking extract (vanilla, peppermint or coconut are good options) to help dogs combat kennel stress.
Create scent trails that your dogs can follow. Special scents like anise seed or lavender can help you train your dog to follow scents. To set up a scent trail, use a cotton ball to apply a drop of anise seed essential oil, then play a quick game of catch. Later on, hide your dog’s favorite toy in a difficult to find location. Add a few drops of the same oil on a piece of paper then tear it into small pieces, placing each piece several feet apart. Make sure you have a reward at the end of the trail.
Expand your dog’s world by walking a new route to explore new smells or play a game that requires them to sniff out a solution.
Nutritional enrichment comes into play with scent enrichment when you start hiding your dog’s food and letting them engage their natural instinct to forage. Ditch the bowl for a snuffle mat or puzzle toy to make feeding time more interesting.
Choose new types of treats that your dog might enjoy. This gives them new scents to puzzle out and may give you guidance into their preferences. Try a buffalo-blueberry treat or pure mussels, vegetables (like squash or carrots) or fruits (like raspberries or blueberries) are also low-calorie superfood options they may enjoy!
Games like “Hide A Treat” is a fun game for you and your dog. Simply hold a treat in one hand and let your dog choose the hand he wants. He’ll learn soon enough to pay attention to olfactory clues!
Home enrichment through DogTV provides company for dogs at home. Our programs have been developed from over 60 scientific studies into dog behavior and are proven to reduce stress and separation anxiety. The result: a confident, happy dog, who’s less likely to develop anxiety or stress
Don’t miss out on all of the CANINE ENRICHMENT FUN!
Go to our Canine Enrichment page to find out about our GIVEAWAYS, FREE DOGTV and CANINE ENRICHMENT TIPS.