Do you use a bowl to feed you dog? Why? Convenient as it may be your dog is doing nothing for its food. It gets popped in front of them and away they go.
Here at Mersea Mutts we encourage the use of other ways of feeding our dogs to stimulate their minds and use their senses.
Getting your dog to eat more slowly rather than inhaling food not only helps their digestion but can help prevent chocking and vomiting amongst other things. So, what do we use, how do we feed our dogs differently and what are the benefits to both dog and human?
There are a huge number of slow feed bowls out there which are fantastic and help slow down the feeding process, however, is this enough? We try to encourage our dogs to use their brains and senses by hiding food around the house and garden, under things on top of things, in things so that the dogs have to work out how to get them. They will naturally use their sense of smell and sight to find food and it keeps them occupied for a period of time as well as using their brains which will help stop them from getting bored, restless and frustrated. We find that a lot of behavioural problems in the home can be overcome by getting dogs to use their brains by working out puzzles and giving them jobs.
One of the favourites here is a Buster Ball which you fill up with their meal and let them roll it around waiting for food to drop out.
This ball has a maze inside and is specifically designed to make your dog roll it, so your dog doesn’t get clever with it as just rocking it back and forth will not work. A full meal can take between 25-45mins to eat and it means that the dogs are being exercised at the same time without being under your feet giving you both some alone time, a great tool to help build up distance between you both if your dog suffers from separation anxiety.
Feeding is all about being creative and giving your dog a new experience each time. Hiding food in a pile of old sheets is another great way as it will keep your dogs occupied and make it fun for them.
For those feeding wet food, stuff containers with the food so that your dogs have to use their tongues to clean out the container, lots of small containers can be hidden around the place.
If you would like to find out more about different types of feeding or mind stimulation for your dog feel free to contact us here at Mersea Mutts Tel: 07454 972 026.