Keeping Your Dog In Shape: Part 2
Making Meal Times More Active
Keeping your dog active in the house will help to keep the weight loss on track. Dogs are scavengers by nature, and they like to seek, hunt, and investigate. Making food activity games for your dog will help to encourage this natural behaviour and increase the daily stimulation to help keep your pet more active.
Kongs and Activity Toys
Kong Toys are designed to be durable and to be packed full of food. They are also designed to be mentally stimulating because the dog needs to keep working in order to remove the food from inside the toy. Initially, a dog will need to get the food out of the Kong easily, in order to stay interested. You can start by placing dry kibble in the Kong and showing your dog that if it rolls the toy, the food will fall out. Your dog will learn very quickly how the Kong works and you will be able to make it more challenging. You can soak your dog's meal in water and pack the Kong full, leave it to set for an hour and then give it to your dog. For super dog Kong experts, dry food can be placed in the toy and some water poured over it. Allow the excess water to drain and place it in the freezer to set, then give it to your dog to play with.
Activity balls and cubes are also a good way to increase your dog's activity in the house. Try placing some of your dog's dry food in the ball and let them chase the toy around the house to get the food out.
Hiding food is another way of encouraging your dog to use its natural seeking behaviour. It comes with the added benefit of increasing your dog's exercise and stimulation. To begin with, try popping your dog in a room with the door closed. In the next door room, hide some food in easy to find places. Then bring your dog to that room and tell him/her to 'find it'. You may have to point out the hidden food to start with as your dog learns about the game. Over time you can make the game more challenging, perhaps hiding food in the garden or under objects. Toys can also be hidden for your dog to find.