Kennel enrichment tips for dogs

by Sharon Kutsop

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Kenneled dogs tend to have a lot of energy and not many options on how to release that energy. Walks, runs and play groups are wonderful options for dogs, but if it isn’t feasible to supply each dog in your care with enough physical activity every day, there are other options to give them mental stimulation, which also tires them out.

Kongs are a great option for mentally stimulating dogs who don’t have enough options to keep them entertained. A frozen Kong can keep a dog entertained for up to an hour. Simply plug the small hole with peanut butter or another similar substance, place it in a cup or other container with the plugged side down and fill it to the top with a mixture of wet food, peanut butter, kibble or treats and then add water. Place the cup with the Kong in it in the freezer. When they are frozen through, distribute the Kongs out to the dogs.

This is all you need for fun, frozen treats for your dogs.

If Kongs are not available in the quantity you need for all the dogs in your care, you can also freeze food and treats in muffin tins or plastic soda or milk bottles which are cut in half. Follow the instructions above, and simply pop out the frozen treat and hand it out to your dogs.

In nature, dogs work for their food. Having them work for it this way provides more entertainment and stimulation than simply placing their food in a bowl. The steps are simple enough to have children or older volunteers do in place of something more strenuous. Once frozen, either the volunteers can distribute them or the staff can grab them from the freezer as needed.