Tips for Easy, At-Home Enrichment

white lab puppy chewing on toy

At Camp Bow Wow, we love providing enrichment to pups while they are in our care. What is enrichment? Enrichment allows animals to express natural behavior in a safe, healthy, and positive way. When you provide dogs the opportunity to use their senses to investigate, explore, and experience different smells, textures, sounds, tastes, and sights, it can improve their quality of life, engage them mentally, and support their ability to adapt, cope, recover, and thrive. Enrichment does not have to be complicated, and we wanted to share some easy ways to incorporate enrichment at home with your pups. 

  • Try a scavenger hunt inside! Start small by hiding treats in plain sight in one room, and then increase the challenge by hiding treats at different levels, under toys, blankets, or pillows, or spreading out the hiding locations.
    • Check out additional tips and tricks here:   
    • Help your pup start looking, by pointing to the treats, letting them see where you hid one treat, and by using verbal encouragement to urge them along and praise them when they find the treat.
  • Create your own home obstacle course using plain old cardboard boxes. It’s a great way to reuse boxes and challenge your pup indoors.
    • Use boxes to make a tunnel, a jump, a balance beam, or even a maze.
  • Make your own puzzles at home using toilet paper or paper towel rolls stuffed with a few treats or toys (make sure your pup doesn’t ingest the whole cardboard tube!).
    • You can even use these to feed meals as they can also be made larger or frozen to last longer.
  • Play the foraging game in your yard by tossing a handful of small, smelly treats in the grass and letting your dog sniff around to find them.
    • You can also mimic this indoors by scattering treats around a room, on a rug, or even wrapped up in a towel or blanket.
    • If your pup is a whiz at puzzles and finding treats, try knotting the treats in a towel for an added challenge.
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