Doggo Enrichment: Canine Nosework, Ball Pits, & More

dog enrichment running outside on grass

It’s the pawfect autumnal weather to leash up your pup and take her on her favorite hikes or sniff walks, but what are you gonna do when it gets too cold? No worries, we’re here with new ideas for enrichment for dogs this week that’ll keep your doggo’s mind exploring the great indoors. 

Mental Enrichment for Dogs

All dogs have an amazing sense of smell (especially apparent when you’re cooking bacon), so why not use that to enrich your dog’s life? Give canine nosework a try!

Your dog already knows the ropes of nosework (since he’s a natural pro at sniffing out odors), but this’ll really help him with focusing. All you need to start are some treats and boxes or cones. Hide a few treats in the boxes or cones, have doggo “find it,” then praise him for being the smartest boy on the block when he does! 

When you’re ready to start advancing the game, start using scents like dog-safe essential oils instead of food and adding more empty cones to make the game more difficult. 

Physical Enrichment for Dogs

Small terrier stands in a ballpit as an enrichment for dogs activity.

For that dog that lives by the motto “ball is life,” make her dream come with her very own ball pit. The dig box’s cleaner, more colorful cousin, the ball pit is a great way to add some enrichment to your doggo’s life. She’ll love getting to tap into her natural instinct for digging. Up the level by adding toys, treats, or even kibble.

Get it on Amazon for $36.99.

Food Enrichment for Dogs

Trying new flavors is a great way to blow your dog’s mind, so how ’bout three at a time? In the spirit of the Halloween season, make your dog his own healthy, candy corn inspired frozen treat! Candy corn may be most humans’ least favorite candy, but it’s about to skyrocket to the top of your dog’s list. 

All you need is an ice cube mold (or paper cups!) and some pumpkin puree, plain non-fat yogurt, and mashed bananas. Layer your three ingredients and freeze! You can pop in some sticks for pupsicles or just toss ‘em into your dog’s bowl for a mess-free, seasonal treat. 

What are some of your favorite ideas to add some enrichment for dogs into your daily life? Let us know in the comments!

(Photo by Lum3n)

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagramthen check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

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