Holiday Dog Enrichment Planning & Safe Zones with Emily Fitzpatrick | Pupford
October 5th, 2023
Filed under Pet Parenting
The holidays are chaotic, but during these times our dog's needs don’t change. They still need food, play, enrichment, and more. And while you have one hundred other things on your list to worry about as well, planning enrichment into your dog’s day will use up their energy, minimize boredom, and keep them calm and happy (and if you are short on time, we have ideas for you as well).
DOG ENRICHMENT PLANNING AND SAFE ZONES
PLANNING YOUR DOG’S ENRICHMENT
When planning your dog’s enrichment, you want to focus on meeting their natural needs, like…
- And More
Here are some ways you can meet your dog’s natural needs with enrichment.
1. USE A SNUFFLE MAT
Since your dog’s smell is their strongest sense and it’s the way they see the world, letting your dog tap into that sense is so important.
2. SCATTER TREATS IN GRASS
When you walk your dog over the holidays, bring some treats with you, the stinkier the better. Emily loves . Scatter them all over the place in the grass so your dog has to use their nose to sniff out the treats.
3. CLICKER TRAINING
4. PUT FOOD INTO A FUN ENRICHMENT TOY
Here are some things you can try:
- Soak their kibble with water and put in the toy
- Fill with wet dog food
- Fill with their food and top with some and for an added treat
- Make a and freeze to make it more difficult
5. USE A LICK MAT
Licking is great for relieving stress and decompressing. Grab a lick mat and make this…
- AS A BASE: peanut butter (xylitol free), pumpkin, or wet dog food
- TOP WITH: fun treats like , dog treats, and plain Greek yogurt
- STICK IN FRIDGE: 2-4 hours
- ENJOY: give this to your dog to enjoy throughout the day
SETTING UP SAFE ZONES FOR YOUR DOG
Safe zones are great to give your dog a break from all the chaos during the holidays. Safe zones can be:
- A cozy crate
- Ex pen
- Baby gate in a hallway or separate room
- Put them in a separate part of the house behind a closed door
- Anywhere your dog feels the safest!
In their safe zone, play some calming music for them, give them a tasty chew or enrichment toy so they have something good to focus on that will help them decompress.
IF YOU’RE SHORT ON TIME
If you don’t have time / or aren’t in a place where you can plan some of these enrichment activities, still make sure your . Flirt poles are great to use in a pinch because they don’t require much space and can be used indoors.
To play, simply hold the flirt pole, and drag on the floor, move throughout the air, and keep it away from your dog for a bit. Then you want to let them catch it and play with the toy. Keep repeating that for 5-10 minutes. They will be fulfilled, get more exercise, and have fun!
Sniff walks are another easy thing you can do! When out on a walk, just let your dog choose where they want to go and what they want to smell. Let their nose be the guide.
PLANNING YOUR DOG’S ACTIVITIES
Choose two or three of these activities to try a day. You want to make sure that you switch up how they get fed, what games they play with, and what treats they get, to keep it exciting for them.
We hope this video was helpful for you as you go into the holidays. Have any other questions on safe zones and enrichment planning? Let us know in the comments!