So far in our ‘mental wellbeing’ series we have looked at some of the different types of food dispensing toys available to further enhance your dog’s day and provide mental stimulation. However, one common issue that can arise with the introduction of these toys is that a dog seems disinterested to join in with the game you have prepared for them! To try and help you to combat this, I have teamed up with Barking Heads to show you just how you might fill a standard rubber food dispensing toy to encourage even the fussiest of eaters to have a go. Remember, it is important to mentally stimulate our dogs for a variety of reasons including the alleviation of boredom, reducing fears and anxieties, and potentially assisting with the diffusion of other behavioural issues.
So here we have tutorial five of our seven part mental wellbeing series. Remember, to begin with keep the challenge of getting the tasty food reward out of the toy easy to achieve, teaching your dog this is a fun and rewarding game to play. Similarly, ensure that you choose a food dispensing toy that suits the size of your dog – a small breed will need a smaller version, and a larger breed will of course need the larger version! Many good pet shops will stock a range so take a look and choose a toy appropriate to your individual dog and their physiology.
If the approach seen in this video is still too much for your dog to begin with, don’t forget you can take one step back and start with a lick bowl or mat to introduce them to the game (see my previous tutorial for this). Similarly, once they are confident with the ‘easy’ approach, eager to have a go and getting the tasty food reward out in no time at all then take a look at tutorial six! Tutorial six which will teach you how to up the challenge further using Barking Heads food and treats.
Disclaimer: If you are concerned about a behavioural issue I, and Pet Food UK ltd, recommend that you seek advice from a certified behaviourist. All training is attempted at the owner’s risk and Pet Food UK ltd and Adem Fehmi accept no liability for any injuries to pets or owners sustained during training. If your dog is showing signs of aggression, especially around food, please seek professional advice.