Outdoor Canine Enrichment: Splash Pads, New Neighborhoods, and More!

Are you a dog mom or a bear mom? Either way, winter is over and it’s time to let your dog’s sniffer out of hibernation! Take advantage of the rising temperatures and spend some time outside with these outdoor canine enrichment ideas. 

Dog Splash Pad

A shepherd-mix breed dog enjoys splashing on a blue splash pad as way to engage in outdoor canine enrichment.
Just a pool-less dog imagining he’s cannonballing. | Carol Brod

For the pups who are fans of Cardi B, it’s gonna be a summer of W.A.P., Wet Ass Puppers. What’s a dog to doo when somebody can’t get them a house with a pool? The next best thing: a splash pad. All you need is a hose to turn the concrete jungle into a doggy water park that provides sensory enrichment for dogs. This splash pad has a textured bottom and is made of a thicker material so the fun won’t have to end in case someone skipped this month’s pawdicure.

Neighborhood Walks

You love your neighborhood, and there’s no problem with that! There’s probably a cute shop, a cool brewery, and everyone knows your dog by name. But the sights are getting a little mundane, and Spot would like to sniff somepuppy else’s pee on a tree, no offense. Switching up your walk routine is one of the best ways to provide new environmental enrichment for dogs, since you’re providing new information for him to take in! 

Now’s the time to explore a new neighborhood–take a walk and find a new-to-you dog-friendly store or a brewery with an open patio! He will appreciate it, and you’ll appreciate how happy and tired your dog is at the end of your adventure.

Food Toppers

A gold shih-tzu sits next to two bags of Stella & Chewy's Magical Dinner Dust food topper.
Can’t take my eyes off of youuuuu. | Amazon

If your dog’s kibble is turning more into just nibbles, maybe it’s time to spice up dinner time. While kibble has their daily nutrients and keeps ‘em full, let’s admit it: It may be a bit boring to eat the same thing every day. Food toppers include added nutrients for shiny coats, more vitamins, and new tastes to blow any picky pupper’s mind.

And yes, you can DIY this enrichment. Most things can be a topper–a scoop of yogurt, wet food, or even the crumbs at the bottom of the treat bag. For an extra challenge, serve their food in a puzzle feeder!

What are your favorite homemade dog enrichment ideas? Woof at us in the comments and tag us with #SidewalkDog with all of the fun ways you spice up pupper’s life!

Featured photo: Stephanie Cook

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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