Easy Puppy Enrichment Ideas

Keeping a puppy entertained all day can be tough, especially when you’re busy and can’t give them your full attention. A bored puppy can quickly get into mischief, start getting destructive and develop bad habits like chewing and barking.

You might think taking them for a big walk will tire them out for hours and allow you to get on with your day, but often after a quick 20-minute nap, they’re back up again full of energy and wanting your attention.

By giving your puppy enriching games and activities to do, you’ll provide them with all the mental stimulation they need to keep them occupied for longer periods of time and tire them out for a few hours too!

Not sure where to begin? We’ve put together a whole list of puppy enrichment ideas to help you out!

Snuff Mats and Balls

Snuffle mats and balls are really easy to make at home or can be bought online. Hide your puppy’s favourite treats (or one of their meals if they have dry food) in the fabric and folds of a snuffle mat or ball and have your puppy use their nose to find their food.

Lick Mats and Kongs

Kongs and Lick Mats are a super easy way to keep your dog mentally stimulated. They’re versatile and easy to clean too, just put them in the dishwasher.

Kongs can be stuffed with wet food, yoghurt, peanut or anything your puppy enjoys. Once filled, give it to them and watch them work to get their reward. Want to make it extra challenging? Pop the Kong in the freezer for a few hours to keep them occupied for even longer.

Similarly, you can spread your topping of choice over a Lick Mat and freeze too. Check out our previous post for our top 10 Lick Mat toppings.

Food dispensing toys

Keep your puppy entertained with a food dispensing toy that rewards them with tasty treats when they play with it.  They are so many varieties of toys so try a few different ones to see what your puppy likes best.

Hide and Sniff

Whilst your dog is out of the room, hide some treats all around for them to sniff out. If they’re new to nose games, start off by using really smelly treats and “hide” them in view and after a few successful rounds, you can start to make it more difficult.

DIY enrichment ideas

Not all enrichment activities need to cost money. You can use items you already have at home to create quick and cheap enrichment for your puppy.

  • Empty Boxes and Packaging Material
    • Been doing some online shopping? Make sure you save the boxes and packaging material. Scatter treats inside the box and amongst the layers of material, close the lid and let your dog loose. They’ll need to use their nose and brain to find all the treats. Make it more challenging by putting smaller boxes filled with treats inside larger ones.
  • Old toilet and kitchen roll tubes
    • Fold in one end of a (clean!) cardboard tube, fill with treats and then close the other end. Give to your dog and watch them figure out how to get into the tube for the treats
    • Got loads of tubes? Stand them upright inside a shoe box and pop some treats in each tube. Your dog will have to use their mouth and nose to get the treats
  • The Muffin Tin Game
    • Scatter some treats into a muffin tin and cover each hole with a tennis ball. Your puppy will have to use their mouth and nose to remove the balls and get to the treats
  • Rolled Up Towels
    • Using a towel of any size, lay it out flat and scatter treats across it. Tightly role it up, tie it into a knot and give it to your puppy to figure out how to get the treats out. Leave untied or only tie loosely if your pup struggles to work it out.

What enrichment activities do you do with your puppy? Let us know by emailing PawfitPals@Pawfit.com or sending us a DM on social.

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