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Variety is the Key to Successful Canine Enrichment


Active Member

Variety is the spice of life... for you and for your dog! When you think about enriching your pup’s life, think about it in terms of your own activities: You wouldn’t want to watch the same single episode of your favorite show over and over. Nor would you want to hike the exact same trail every time you go out. Variety keeps things interesting!
Your dog is the same when it comes to enrichment!
Predictable Variety
Dogs thrive on routine when it comes to the daily schedule. Eating, sleeping, walking, playing, and, yep, even pooping should all happen on a consistent schedule. Variety comes in with the games you play, like backyard agility on Monday, puzzle toys on Tuesday, a hike in the woods on Wednesday, and so on. Mix up the enrichment activities while keeping your pup on a schedule.
Consistent Challenges
Bored dogs get creative. That creativity is often expressed in a destructive way: a sofa relieved of its stuffing, a giant hole dug in the middle of the yard, shoes chewed and strewn. Adding a variety of enriching activities that utilize all their senses while encouraging independent thought—think solving a puzzle toy to earn a meal or visiting a new park—burns off that excess mental energy.
Once your pup masters a game, activity, or challenge, up the ante by making it more difficult or changing the criteria. Keep her mind and body working in a variety of ways, and she’ll be one happy pup!
Maggie Marton is a freelance writer based in Indianapolis. When not hiking with her two pit mixes, Emmett and Cooper, or playing with Newt the Cat, Maggie writes about them (and the pet industry) at ohmydogblog.com and maggiemarton.com.

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