Is enrichment exercise really necessary for your pet?
Short answer: Yes!
Not only it brings benefits to the well-being of our pets, but enrichment is also a great training tool and a solution to problems we might face. Let's discuss some of these benefits in detail and how you can use our collection of play objects to achieve that.
Mental Stimulation + Relaxation
Dogs love to sniff and it is in their natural behavior. They detect and recognize their surroundings through smell and that helps to develop a feeling of control over the immediate environment. Nose work toys can be used to channelize their existing love for this habit and provide that sought after stimulation. After each activity and getting their brains going, you can also instruct them to chill in the bed or mat as a relaxation routine. The act of sniffing is a highly rewarding outlet for the energy stored up and now you can teach your dog how to "work out" in a cool and calm way.
These activities can also let your pets gain more self-confidence through tackling a task on their own. Since our NOU is designed to be made into different shapes, it keeps the challenge up. You can always add difficulty by using multiple of them to lengthen the unknotting time or just hide the treats further inside each knot. However, do be cautious about the possibility of frustration if your pet finds it too hard to get to the reward. Always try to set them up for success and you can start off by offering more treats with looser knots to arouse interest first before gradually adding up the difficulty. By keeping your dogs engaged to improve their own cognitive abilities and gaining a sense of self-assurance, enrichment exercise provides another form of comfort that ultimately leads to relaxation.
When physical freedom is not possible, enrichment exercise can help direct the dog’s innate inquisitiveness away from unwanted behaviors. The hunt channelizes their curiosity by requiring them to work with their nose and mind. Solving the challenge and being rewarded by their favorite treats also serves as a great way to create confidence and positive association with being alone. Offer the item when your dog is inside the crate or a play pan as a reinforcement and a signal for an independent play time without you.
Worse than boredom and usually down the road of that is anxiety. Providing enrichment for your dog can be one of the easiest ways to lessen that. While keeping your dog indoors when you are out, the best exercise that your dog can do on its own is using its nose. More helpfully, as I learnt myself after Mia is spayed recently, these sniffing toys are an excellent source to keep your pet motivated and mentally healthy during times when physical freedom is suddenly restricted or when they are recovering from an operation. It is also an excellent tool to engage your dog when it's raining outside too!
Process over Product
It is not simply about buying a buke of these items and loading them all up. The point more so is to raise engagement, increase positive association and self-confidence for your pet. The design of our play objects goes beyond just engaging your dogs, but they prompt you to join in as much because it requires your creative input to form different shapes. I believe our fur children do recognize our physical and emotional input into these objects and would turn more to a toy that is shared with us than ones just for themselves. Every time you create an unique shape for them, they can feel your presence and participation indirectly through the object. It also keeps the interest up for your dog because there is no one way to solve the puzzle.
So knot it up differently and be part of the game to keep things interesting!
These are numerous benefits that the dog and the owner can enjoy through enrichment exercise and now you can make your furry ones happy, confident and stress-free through our range of play objects here.