The Covid-19 started with an initial buying craze for toilet paper and paper towels. Recently a new category of items have begun to sell out quickly in the human world, puzzles and other brain games. Mental fatigue is draining and depressing so it's crucial that you try your best to keep your dogs mentally stimulated at home during this challenging time.
We've compiled a list of enrichment games you can make yourself from household items as well as some dog specific interactive treat puzzles that will keep them motivated, happy and healthy while cooped up.
BRAIN GAMES FROM HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
- SHELL GAME (Video Below): This one is pretty self explanatory and the video is awesome! All you need are some empty yogurt cups and some yummy kibble or treats! You can introduce this game with a simple "Which Hand" game where you hide treats in one of your closed fists and let your dog sniff out the correct hand. Reward him/her with the treats when he/she correctly signals or touches the treat-holding hand.
- BOX NOSE WORK (Video Below): Work on sit/stay while you hide a treat in one box and assign a command such as "Find It" to allow your dog to begin the search. Start with a couple boxes (I bet you have some Amazon boxes around the house right now!) and slowly add more boxes and move them around the room. This game can be expanded greatly by utilizing more boxes and eventually more rooms in your house. This is an awesome activity for those bad weather days when outdoor physical exercise is limited.
This game teaches your dog to start utilizing their sense of smell to find the treats rather than just relying on sight. Finding the treats themselves is rewarding for your dog, and lots of positive reinforcement during the game will keep them excited.
FOOD DISPENSING TOYS & PUZZLES
These food dispensing toys really serve two wonderful purposes and we recommend each one highly. First, they exercise your dog’s brain with built-in rewards that keep pups busy while redirecting destructive behaviors. Second, when used with your dog's kibble they act as a slow feeder which is a great way to slow down meal times to improve digestion and prevent bloat.
> Nina Ottosson Dog Smart Beginner Dog Puzzle Toy - BUY ON AMAZON
> Outward Hound Ottosson Puzzle Brick Dog Toy - BUY ON AMAZON
> Planet Dog Orbee-Tuff Snoop (Tough & Durable Interactive Dog Ball Treat Dispenser) - BUY ON AMAZON
> PetSafe Busy Buddy Twist 'n Treat, Treat Dispensing Dog Toy (Various Sizes) - BUY ON AMAZON
> Furbo Dog Camera: Treat Tossing, Full HD Wifi Pet Camera and 2-Way Audio - BUY ON AMAZON