Doggy Training

Seven of the best dog enrichment feeders

Using enrichment feeders and toys are a great way to feed your dog their meals and give them tasty fun treats through the day. The benefits of using these include: -

Mental stimulation – the feeders, puzzles and toys often require dogs to apply their problem - solving skills to get access to their food.

Prevents boredom – making it harder and having to think about having to access their foods helps to prevent boredom and help reduce the chance of behavioural issues.

Digestion – does your dog almost inhale their food? Using a slow feeder toy will encourage your dog to slow down and chew their food more slowly improving their digestion and reducing the risk of bloating.

Promotes natural behaviours – the feeders encourage dogs to hunt and forage, meaning their natural instincts are met, providing them with a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment.

  • Lick mats – you can get lick mats in many different shapes and sizes depending on what works best for your dog, having a few different ones to add more variety is a great idea. SodaPup does a great range of them, take a look at the Whale Lick mat which has been created to combine its functionality with a fun design. It has several different compartments some bigger than others so you can use a variety of different foods to make it more fun and challenging for your dog. Our JR pate’s are perfect for use with any type of lick mat
  • Snuffle mats are great to encourage your dog to forage and sniff for their food and is a great enrichment toy for dogs of all ages. Simply scatter your dog’s food in the mat and lay it on the floor for them, they shouldn’t take too much encouragement to start sniffing out their treats. Sniffing naturally helps your dog to calm as well.
  • West Paw Toppl is a great puzzle toy and comes in two sizes, large and small and they fit together to make an even trickier fun feeder. It has ridges inside to trap your dog’s food and it tips over to keep your dog challenged. Simply load up and watch it go, also suitable for things like yogurt and then freezing to make longer lasting fun.
  • Kongs come in a variety of shapes and sizes so be sure to check the sizing that is suitable for your dog. They are very durable and are great for stuffing with dry food or wet food or a mixture of both and freezing. You can be as creative as you like, think yoghurt, different dog safe fruits and vegetables, peanut butter (containing no Xylitol)
  • Rainbow Slow Feeder Puzzle Bowl – this is a great fun bowl for your dog that again you can put different foods in, soft, hard, pate’s and it will keep your dog engaged as it eats providing lots of mental stimulation. With a suction cup on the back, it easily stays where you put it.
  • Puzzle Feeders – There are many around, but we love Nina Ottosson by Outward Hound’s as there are many to choose from. This Smart Orange puzzle is a beginner level one that is perfect for puppies or older dogs that have not experience them before. Hide treat treats under the bones and encourage your dog to move the bones to reveal the treats. There is also the Lickin’ Layers Interactive Puzzle which has three spinning layers and over 100 treat compartments to really get your dog working for their food.
  • Finally make your own – you don’t have to go to lots of expense to make a fun feeding experience for your dog. You can make your own with a cardboard box and rolling up balls of paper and hiding treats in various bits of paper and the box, your dog will have loads of fun hunting for the treats and ripping the paper up no doubt! If you would like more ideas why not have a look at our Enrichment Ideas eBook

As with all things like this we always recommend that you supervise your dog at all times.