Good Dog Blog

2 Fun Tips for Stimulating Your Dog’s Brain at Mealtime

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I love to think of ways to challenge my dog in fun ways. Whether by teaching her a new trick or both of us learning something new together like agility. One of the ways I challenge my dog Cole’s brain on a daily basis is at mealtimes. Using these two simple but fun ideas.

1. Treat Balls/Toys: We own 5-6 different feeding balls/toys otherwise known as “treat balls”. You can find quite an assortment at your local pet store (the one shown is just one of many designs). These food dispensing toys are great for challenging your dog’s mind and body because they have to figure out how to get the food out and it usually involves them moving the toy around so that the food falls out. I take it one step further by putting Cole in a sit stay in the kitchen (good daily practice of sit/stay) while I go hide the toy somewhere in the house. I then come back and tell her “find it!”. She loves this routine and she goes racing around the house looking (with her nose) for her meal.  I use a different toy each day to keep it interesting and fun.


2. Slo-Bowls: I just recently found out about these really cool food bowls (meant for slowing down dog’s that eat really fast). They come in different cool designs and they are sure to be a fun challenge for any dog to eat their food from. They are called Slo-Bowls check them out .  They come in four different designs and in small and large sizes.  I ordered one of each design so that again I can keep it interesting. Well she absolutely loves them!

I challenge you to make your dog’s mealtime more interesting by starting with just one interactive feeding dispenser toy/bowl. The first time you try it put a bit of lunch meat in it with their food (or something highly scented like chicken, hot dog bits) to help motivate them to really work to learn how to get the food out. It will just help to encourage them if it is a bit challenging at first.  And if you would like to know how to teach your dog the “find it!” game, give me a call I’d be happy to share my tips and techniques with you! Happy feeding!


Terie Hansen is the Owner of Good Dog! Coaching & Pet Care

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