Spoil your dog this season and give them some daily enrichment. They want to feel it is Christmas too!
The Christmas season is upon us and its time to prep those advent packages for the kids, buy the presents and decorate your home. It is also time to spoil your dog with these 24 Christmas enrichment ideas for your dog.
I have gathered 24 of my favourite dog enrichment ideas below to keep your dog entertained during this busy season. Some you can even make yourself and it won’t cost you anything. In each one you can watch a video with how to make the enrichment. Open a new video each day and give your dog a daily present all the way up until Christmas Eve.
24 dog enrichment ideas
Come up with a few tricks and have your dog do them before serving their food. You can start with training the tricks with treats to keep your dog’s motivation up. Once your dog has learned the tricks you can start using their kibble and have them do the tricks before they get their meals.
Watch how here:
A great mental exercise for dogs that also teaches them a little patience. Get two cups and hide treats or food underneath, spin them around in front of your dog and have your dog chose the cup that holds the food.
Watch how here:
Make a delicious snack box that will keep your dog busy for a long time. Treasure boxes are the best, filled with different enrichment that makes the doggie brain work while the mouth is filled with tasty treats – a true treasure indeed!
Watch how to make your own snack box here:
Break up your walk with a little fun food search out in nature. It stimulates your dog’s mind, makes the walk a little more fun as well as tire them out. You can do it wherever you are and whether you have a garden or not. Let’s go search!
- The yummy play rope
In the video below I will show you how to turn a play rope into a delicious treat that will keep your dog busy and tire them out. Remember always to start easy and then as your dog masters the challenge you can make it harder. That way the dog is always successful and get a boost of confidence.
Dogs love to work and help you out. It makes them feel good and boosts their self confidence in general to have a job they can do. So why not let them! Find out what your dog likes – be it pulling, carrying or getting you your newspaper every morning and let them do it!
Playing with your dog does not only strengthen the bond between you, it also helps your dogs brain stay sharp, and then it is fun!
- The eggtray game.
Don’t know what to do with those old eggtrays? Use them as an enrichment toy for your dog. You can make them however difficult you want. Turn the eggtray upside down and fill the holes with treats or kibble, or open it and fill it on the inside and then close the lid.
The dog Spinny is a dog puzzle game that makes your dog work for their food. You can get many different dog puzzles with different difficulty. Easy to use and fun for your dog.
Watch the video to see how we use ours:
You probably already have an activity ball for your dog. If not, then I would say that that is definitely a must have in your doggie kit. Fill your dog’s treats or kibble in the bowl and let them roll it around to get the food out. If you are introducing a new enrichment toy it is always good to start with high value treats. That way you make the toy interesting and worth figuring out.
Do you have some old soda bottles lying around? Why not let your dog work out how to get his/her kibble out of the bottle and reuse it? For this enrichment I would definitely recommend using hard plastic soda bottles as dogs can bite through the soft plastic and cut themselves.
12. Tug and roll
Use a blanket or a duvet and spread your dog’s kibble or treats out on top. Then roll the blanket/duvet from one end to the other and let your dog unroll it to get to the
13. Make a Kong
A Kong toy is another essential you must have for your dog. You can get them in different sizes and durability. Read this blog if you want to know how to best start with your Kong toy, setting your dog up for success.
Save your old toilet paper rolls and use them for dog enrichment. Again the difficulty can be varied. Start with just filling a few treats in the roll and give it to your dog. As your dog has mastered that, then close one end and finally to make it harder close both ends. Your dog will have lots of fun with this. Make sure to observe your dog when you give them these, as with any enrichment toy, to make sure he/she doesn’t eat the cardboard.
You can hide your dog’s food or treats around the house, in their basket or in your garden. If your dog is trying this game for the first time, start with some easy hiding places and then increase the difficulty as your dog gets better and better at finding the hiding places.
Make your own snuffle mat or buy one as a christmas present for your dog. They are fun and easy. Just pour kibble over it, give it a little shake to make to hide the kibble and let your dog sniff his/her way to the food.
This fun and easy homemade enrichment will challenge your dog. Watch the video to see how to make your own.
If you have a baking tray or a muffin tin, then fill up the holes with your dog’s kibble and cover it with toys that they have to move in order to get to their food. This can also be done with some balls in their regular bowl.
If you have some old paper that you are taking to the paper recycle then why not give it one more use. Scrunch it up in a box, pour the kibble in and let your dog roam through it to find the food. A free and fun enrichment game for your dog.
Have a pair of socks that you have to throw out anyway? Tie them up and pour your dog’s kibble inside and let your dog work it out. It is a great use final purpose for a sock 😉
Have some old boxes lying around, or maybe you just bought some new shoes for that christmas party? Why not use the box to enrich your dog? Pour in the kibble and close it and let your dog work out how to free his/her food.
Fill the bucket up with kitchen paper and toilet paper rolls and then pour the kibble over. Your dog now has to lift up the rolls to get to the food.
This might be the perfect christmas present for your dog. The Buster activity mat is great fun and you can keep adding new things on it so your dog stays challenged. We are definitely wishing for new things this christmas.
You can finally take a breath and sit down and enjoy christmas Eve with your family and dog. Give your dog a good massage to release all the christmas stress. It will relax you both 😉
Happy holidays to you all <3