Favorite Things 2018

Have you ever prepared to take your dog on a vigorous walk only to step outside and decide it was too windy for a hike? Not all of us embrace the bracing cold when it comes to exercising our dogs outdoors. What do we do instead? There are many enrichment activities that will keep your dog busy. Enrichment is an important part of animal welfare and can easily be incorporated into everyday life.

Training is enrichment!  Take a portion of your dog's breakfast or dinner for training games.  You can practice behaviors she already knows or teach new behaviors. You can even train your dog to relax while you relax! Snuggled up on the sofa with popcorn while watching a movie?  Have your dog lay on her bed next to the sofa. Drop a piece of popcorn on your dog’s bed while she quietly lays there. Afraid you’re going to become distracted by the movie? Try giving her a snuffle mat, and have her hunt for her kibble, or a stuffable food toy like the Zogoflex Toppl.

Does your dog behave differently when you have a house full of guests?  Looking for an enrichment activity that will keep your dog away from the action? When you’re entertaining, both you and your dog are distracted.  If your dog is going to be sharing in the merriment, try using the Chase-N-Chomp Sticky Bone. Stuff it and use the suction cups to stick it to your cabinets or refrigerator.  This kept my dog busy during our ugly sweater party. Want your dog to be occupied even longer? Stuff and freeze the Chase-N-Chomp before the gathering.

Cats need enrichment too!  My cat enjoys batting his SlimCat Meal Dispenser around at snack time. He also loves to forage for hidden treats in his cat tree.

Looking to give your dog or cat more indoor physical exercise?  Cats go nuts for wand toy Da Bird (seriously). And, let’s face it, an empty shipping box is pretty fascinating for our feline friends too. For dogs, try the Outward Hound Flirt Pole.  Most dogs go gaga for this game of chase. If your dog loves to play tug, I’ve never met a dog who doesn’t love a Kong Wubba. Don’t forget, tug can give YOU a great upper body workout too!

Since we’ve been sharing our favorite things list with clients for years, we decided to make it easier to find with just one click. Check out our Favorite Things list  just in time for the holidays. You can even support our small women-owned business one click at a time because we may earn a small commission on items ordered through our link. Know anyone adding a pet to their family soon? Contact us for a personalized shopping list, more enrichment ideas, and training at www.BehaviorUnited.com.

Jackie Moyano