Last updated - Jan 2024
Here at Four Paws, we are encouraging owners to bring in enrichment items for your dog(s) to play with when they are not being entertained by a member of staff.
You're thinking to yourself, what is enrichment?
Enrichment improves and enhances your dogs mental state using a range
of different activities designed to challenge and exercise their brains.
These activities encourage your dog to problem solve, learn new skills, and
become more confident.
Most importantly, they love it!
To have a happy and well-behaved dog they need to exercise both their mind
as well as their body.
The best enrichment toys help stimulate your dogs mind in a positive way and allows
them to use their natural foraging instinct.
Dog enrichment toys run the gamut from treat dispensers, different treat puzzle toys,
lick mats, treat balls, snuffle mats, slow feeder bowls, chew toys and etc.
The type you end up using all depends on what kind of fun motivates your dog.
Tip: if you want to make the feeder last a bit longer, freeze it!
We would suggest owners to leave rawhide chews at home. As rawhide chews can break off in chunks that can pose a choking hazard or cause an intestinal blockage if swallowed - both of these are potentially life-threatening events.
We encourage owners to bring in enrichment bones for your dogs to play with when they are not being entertained by a member of staff and bones that are safe to be left with dogs unsupervised.
Always check any food is suitable for your dog and touch base with your vet if you're unsure.
Here are some ideas for filling these enrichment toys:
* Own dry kibble
* Own wet food
* Dog peanut butter
* Nature plain Greek yogurt
* Fish or meat pate
* Dog safe veg and fruit
We DO NOT accept RAW bones or raw meat
When choosing an interactive dog feeder or toy, please make sure it is the correct size for your dog. It shouldn't be too small to swallow. You don't want your dog choking or swallowing their stuffable toy.
To avoid choking risk, take the chew away once it's worn down to a size which your dog could easily swallow. Remember - no toy or bone is indestructible.
Pick a dog puzzle/toy that's dishwasher-safe and doesn't have small pieces that your dog could inhale, eat or come apart.
Kongs are a fantastic source of mental enrichment and a great way to make mealtime more fun. Your dog's usual diet can be packed into a kong for them to figure out and they can even be frozen for a tougher challenge. You can also put treats or things such as doggy-friendly peanut or liver paste into the Kong. They come in a range of shapes and sizes, offering different challenging but not frustrating; so we would recommend starting off fairly easy and gradually increasing the difficulty of the kong as your dog starts to get the hang of it.
Dogs love to sniff and explore the world around them. A snuffle mat is designed to encourage dogs to sniff, forage and provide mental stimulation in a fun, rewarding way.
A slow feeder dog bowl adds an element of mental engagement during mealtime. The intricate patterns and obstacles in the bowl make your dog work for their food, providing a stimulating challenge that can alleviate boredom and reduce destructive behaviours. By slowing down how fast dogs eat, these bowls can help prevent issues like bloating and indigestion.
Lick mats provide a stimulating and interactive activity that keeps them entertained while also improving their overall health. Since they are flat, dogs are not able to grab the food with their teeth and must use their tongue instead. They are usually coated with ridges and brittles that encourage licking.
Puzzle games and interactive feeders
Interactive feeders require your dog to solve parts of the puzzle to get their food, such as by moving a cup out of the way, spinning a tower, or pulling out a little drawer after "unlocking" it first. Dog puzzles have a variety of difficulty levels and most are made for dry food or treats only.
Dogs have a natural urge to chew, which is not only important for dental health and hygiene, but also provides a source of stress relief and endless entertainment. A good chewing session can also help prevent destructive chewing behaviour for anxious dogs and be used to switch a natural destructive behaviour into a toy treat.
The taste and texture of a natural tree branch
but will last much longer and won’t splinter and make a mess as your dog chews.
Buffalo Hooves & Horns, are durable chews made of keratin. They are incredibly low in fat and are ideal for more aggressive chewers. These Horns being nature's stuffables, are perfect for stuffing for a super enriching treat.
Longer lasting Chews
Deer Antlers, Elk Antlers, Split Deer Chews or Fallow Deer Chews. They are natural and long-lasting chews. Made of hard bone material, harder than normal bone, that's much less likely to splinter or shatter. They're good for your dog's teeth, as it doesn't fill gaps in teeth and chewing grinds down the chew slowly, helping to keep teeth clean and healthy.
Yak Chews are hard cheese made using cow's or yak's milk as the primary ingredient. A nutritious and long-lasting yak bar specially designed to satisfy dogs chewing instincts. The chews contain high protein & calcium with minimal fat and no chemically binding agents - comes in different flavours, and the best part, when it gets smaller (3-4cm) you can microwave it for roughly 45 seconds, and it'll puff up again!
Benebones are tougher than real bones and can last for weeks even with tough chewing
habits and aggressive chewers.
Stuffed chicken, beef or meaty bones.Enough to keep your dog entertained for a long period of time.
Please remember to name all your dog toys/games and bring your dog's favorite food or treats to fill toys/games.
If you do forget food/treats we charge an extra £** per day, per dog for them. Please note we do not supply toys or games.