Canine enrichment is a topic I bring up not only during consultations, but throughout the pet’s lives that I’m tending. It’s vital in keeping dog’s happy, with its ability to stimulate the brain, engage the body and at times, use problem solving skills. It’s also a stress reliever. Enrichment can take many forms, can be employed at any age, and I’m deeply appreciating the notion that so many pet product companies have come up with novel designs for pets, especially dogs.
Some of them have been designed for those who are power chewers—you know, those dogs who will routinely destroy and swallow commercially available toys. Sadly, a percentage of those dogs have or will land in an veterinary emergency hospital after ingesting a chunk of said toy and developing an obstruction. And so, families have no other option but to skip offering traditional toys, but what fun is that for them or the dog?
I’ve stumbled on a workable and safe solution that any dog—no matter the telos, size or age—can safely enjoy, thanks to my brain going down a rabbit hole whilst working with an avian charge this past week. We professional often use fruits and vegetables to hollow out and stuff to create foraging opportunities for exotic birds, and I thought, ‘why not use this idea for dogs’?
‘Tis the season for apples here in Michigan, and they can be used to craft a safe, inexpensive and healthy opportunity for dogs to have a chew party, when they might otherwise have to forgo that pleasure. I explain more in the video below. For more ideas on safe options for dogs, click here.
With over 20 years of experience in pet care and the past 8 of those focused on animal hospice, Lorrie Shaw is a Certified Animal Hospice Practitioner and Certified Fear Free Professional. She is CXO of Telos Companion Animal Services, LLC and can be found at lorrieshaw.com.