In the featured video Intro to Enrichment Feeders, Yo Armendariz KPA CTP and Julie Fryman KPA CTP demonstrate  why and how to use some of the popular feeders. At Canine Learning Academy, enrichment feeders are one of the very first things we implement as part of healthy training plan for dogs of all ages.

Why do we use Enrichment Feeders?

The dogs in our program benefit from daily enrichment and your animals at home will, too! Some puppies may enjoy a sandbox, amazon box, tunnels or an egg carton stuffed with their food. Cats take pleasure in a scratching board, milk jug rings or a fringed toilet paper tube. Some love a good chew toy, a daily stuffed KONG, ice cubes or even some bubbles!

Enrichment is defined as using the mind or body to stay active, exercised, or engaged. A dog that uses its brain daily is often wiped out and less likely to be destructive. In extreme weather, brain games (enrichment feeders) can help tire your dog out a even more so than physical exercise.

How to choose which one is best for your pup?

The type of enrichment feeder you choose to start off with should be quick, easy, for your dog to pick up and can give our dogs hours of enjoyable fun and mental exercise.  Companies like  Kong are coming out with new products all the time. Featured video has some of our favorites, and can be purchased through the Canine Learning Academy Website’s SHOP PAGE (Amazon Links)

Loading up the Feeder

There are a lot of different ways to load up your feeder, here are a few we suggest.

To start you’ll want to measure your dogs meal for the day, so that you don’t end up overfeeding.

For the standard Kong, place food or treats inside and then a yummy spread on the top to get your dog motivated to begin exploring. The spread can be pumpkin, yogurt, peanut butter, cream cheese, or even baby food. Freezing is an option if you want to make the feeder last longer, or if you have a teething puppy.

For interactive feeders, like the Wobblers, load them up with smelly dry food and then place a spread on the outside where you’d like them to push or lick. If the movement or noise of the feeder is scary for your pup, place it on a towel or move it around and drop some treats near it when they hear the noise.

Make each feeder exciting by presenting it to your dog like a present and help get them started if they are confused or nervous about what to do.

Giving your dog enrichment feeders to work for their food will make your pup happier and calmer, and even less destructive. It’s a great way to keep a dog engaged and quiet!

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