The Best Enrichment Toys for Bored Dogs
If you’re like us, you’re trying to get creative on how to keep your dogs happy and healthy at home.
While we’re still going on our usual neighborhood walks, our dogs are a little confused about this new stay at home schedule. Our office dogs, who we affectionately call co-woofers, are wondering why they’ve been forced into early retirement. They certainly miss the affection and treats their coworkers so generously provide them. And for our dogs that normally stay at home, they can’t believe how awesome it is to spend 24/7 with us. With that, however, comes the need to entertain our dogs while on a video or conference call, or even just to have a moment to ourselves. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite enrichment toys to help keep your pets happy (and with sufficient treats).
The classic KONG is an oldie but goodie and one of our favorite ways to occupy our office dogs. Our dehydrated foods and wet toppers can easily fill this toy, and for extended use, can be frozen. Some other great KONG fillers include fruit, peanut butter, yogurt and pumpkin. Don’t be afraid to get creative! You can hide pretty much any pet-friendly ingredient in there. Pro tip: use peanut butter to seal the bottom before stuffing. This will help ensure you don’t make a mess. Checkout our KONG stuffing tutorial here.
Recently, we’ve seen a lot of customers use our dehydrated food in conjunction with the Licki Mat. Licki Mats come in different sizes and varieties and are a great way to slow down your pet’s eating. Some believe that mats promote licking can be soothing and calming to pets that are bored or have anxiety. Wet foods like our dehydrated diets and wet toppers do well with the mats and can also be frozen. Additionally, dry food like our Whole Food Clusters or Proper Toppers can be added in to add to the enrichment.
The Toppl is another toy that works great with our dehydrated recipes. The toy has rubber prongs in the middle so any of our treats would work well in this one. However, our favorite way to use the Toppl is to fill with our 99% meat toppers and top with a Beam. Once frozen, your dog is guaranteed to be occupied a while. Perfect for when you need a little quiet time, without distractions.
Stuffed Marrow Bones
Stuffing a hollow marrow bone with honest Kitchen and freezing is a great way to keep bones interesting. If you’re like me, you might have a lot of raw marrow bones at home that your dogs have eaten the marrow out of and sort of forgot about. I like to stuff them and freeze them to reinterest my dogs. You can also buy marrow bones that are already hollow, either will work. Pro tip: use plastic wrap to close one end of the bone, fill, freeze and remove plastic wrap. This will help keep your kitchen and freezer clean.
This toy is designed to prolong the life and chew time of your dog’s favorite chews. If you have a dog who can woof down one of our Beams Ocean Chews in a matter of minutes, this is the toy for them! Note that not all Beams are the same shape and size so you might have to work a little extra to fit them in, which ensures a longer chew time.
Recommended THK products: Beams Ocean Chews.
Our DIY snuffle mat has been a favorite of Honest Kitchen customers for many years. This homemade toy provides dogs with an opportunity to sniff and search for hidden treats. It consists of fleece strips tied on to a rubber mat with holes in it. The loose ends of the fleece are on top and provide the hiding spots for the treats. Try making your own at home to keep your dogs (and cats, too!) entertained.
Recommended THK products: Any of our treats.
The Brick Puzzle
This puzzle toy is great for dogs who need a lot of mental stimulation. Any of our training treats work well this puzzle, which has 20 different compartments and 3 different ways to challenge your pup. Dogs must use their nose or paw to uncover the treats hidden below their pieces. There are varying levels of difficulty, so you’ll need to figure out what works best for your pet.
Recommended THK products: Training treats.
The Orbie Tuff Snoop
The Snoop is designed as a treat-dispensing toy for dogs. This brain-stimulating puzzle will require dogs to throw it around the room a bit with their paw or mouth to release the treats hidden inside. Looking for an even bigger challenge for your dog? Our office pup Bean (pictured below) loves to work for a Beam hidden inside. It requires a bit of stuffing on her owner’s part, but she can’t get enough of it. A large Beam can take her upwards of 2-3 hours and a smaller Beam about 15 minutes. This can be both physically and mentally stimulating and is a great way to keep her busy while conducting meetings at home.
With any of these toys, it’s important to always supervise your pet. While we want them to be happy, their safety should be your number one priority.
Let us know in the comments below how you’re keeping busy at home! Which enrichment toys do your pets like best?