Saturday, September 18, 2010

Enrichment: Food

Last week I came across The Shape of Enrichment, an organization focused on enrichment, primarily for zoological settings. One of the pages had this nifty flow chart about types of enrichment.

Introduction: Toys
Social Enrichment
Cognitive Enrichment
Home and Routine

It's easy to fall into the pattern of always purchasing the same treats and food for your dog. But variety can provide good experiences for your dog and help further your training.

Varying Food
Look into varying the food and treats you use for feeding toys and training. Use different types of meats, cheese, and textures of foods. Use different temperatures for foods. Frozen cheese is different from refrigerated cheese and that's different from warm cheese. Use dog food, canned food, and biscuit textures.

Varying Presentation
Food toys. Go look at the first part to see more about using food toys with dogs. Feeding can be done in other ways too. Use meals for training, feed a few pieces for each correct repetition. Scatter food in grass, snow, tall grass, or a shallow pool of water. Hide the food in small bowls throughout your yard or house.

How do you provide variety with types of food and food presentation?


Crystal said...

Asian grocery stores are a GREAT place to get inexpensive and novel food items. Chicken feet, dried squid, interesting vegetables... Very fun place to shop.

Kristen said...

Good to know! My dogs really want to live with you.

Crystal said...

How about I just mail them some dried fish product instead? :)

Kristen said...

The dogs said they want you to come and train them and feed them unusual foods.