5 Dog Enrichment Ideas to Stay Mentally Active

From chasing every ball we throw to keeping us company on the sofa during a scary movie, our dogs enrich our lives in many ways. But just like us, our dogs can become bored without enough activity. This can lead them to find their own entertainment, like digging a hole in your yard or going through the trash.

Aside from solving your pup’s boredom, enrichment activities can help keep your dog happy and healthy throughout their life. Studies have even shown that mental enrichment for dogs can help support cognitive health as they age, too.

Wondering how to give your pup some mental exercise? With some dog enrichment ideas and a few tricks of your own, you can provide your pooch with much-needed mental stimulation.

#1 Stimulate Their Snoot with Snuffle Mats

Whether it’s a strange smell under a bush or a pair of dirty socks in your hamper, dogs can be excellent finders and foragers. And a snuffle mat can help you provide your pup with productive foraging fun.

With a snuffle mat, you hide treats or kibble under folds, pockets, or ruffles of fabric. You can find these online or in pet stores. However, if you’re willing to do a little DIY, this is an easy enrichment toy to make yourself.

To start, you’ll just need a few supplies:

  • A pair of scissors
  • A rubber sink mat with holes, or an old placemat with holes poked through
  • About 1 yard of fleece fabric
  • Your pup’s favorite healthy dog treats or kibble

Once you’ve assembled your snuffle mat supplies, simply follow these steps:

  • Step 1 – Use your scissors to cut the fleece fabric into strips. These should be about 1 inch wide and 6–7 inches long.
  • Step 2 – Take one of your fleece strips and push each end through a hole in the mat. Tie the ends together at the top of the mat.
  • Step 3 – Continue tying fleece strips until you have covered the entire mat. The tied ends of the fleece should all be on the same side.

Once you’ve prepared the mat, you can hide the treats deep under the strips of fleece and tell your furry friend to “find it!” With the help of their nose, they can smell and dig through the snuffle mat until they’ve found every last treat.



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