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The Enriched Life Summer Fun Challenge

by Dennis ODonnell on April 29, 2020

The #PAW5EnrichedLifeChallenge is a 5-day enrichment schedule that focuses on getting outside and introducing your dog to new experiences that work his brain, focus his energy and grow the bond you share.  Summer is the season to be active and maximize fun – so get outside and improve your dog’s overall well bring with the PAW5 Summer Fun Enriched Life Challenge!

What is Canine Enrichment and Why Do We Do It?

Enrichment is a way to provide mental and physical stimulation for your dog by way of puzzles, training, games, and socialization – all built to tap into natural canine instincts and behaviors. Many people think that training ends after puppyhood, but that is not the case.  Simple daily walks and basic training will not lead to a fulfilling life for your dog.  They require lifelong enrichment to keep their minds and bodies sharp and engaged with the world around them. 

Dedicated to providing feeding enrichment for dogs through thoughtful product design and education, PAW5 is excited to be running our 2nd #PAW5EnrichedLifeChallenge.  This one-of-a-kind program challenges pet parents to provide five days of ideal enrichment for their dogs to further engage their pup’s mind and body in healthy and rewarding activities that will keep them mentally sharp and physically fit.

What You Need to Get Started

We’ve broken each day into three sections (that means 15 enriching moments) in an effort to align your dog’s enrichment activities with even the busiest of schedules.  You’ll find information to help you create, prepare or enhance each activity below.  Most importantly, have fun!

Supplies you’ll need from around the house:

  • Bucket or Large Bowl / Tupperware
  • Muffin Tin
  • 6+ Tennis Balls
  • 3+ Cardboard Boxes
  • Toys
  • Healthy Treats
  • Peanut Butter
  • Exacto Knife
  • Blanket or towel

    Supplies you may need to purchase:

    • Plastic Baby Pool
    • Wooly or any Snuffle Mat (can also DIY)
    • Rock ’N Bowl or any other food puzzle

      For DogTV and Mood Music:

      Activities

        • Muffin Tin Hunt: Place a little bit of kibble and / or treats into half to two-thirds of the compartments in the muffin tin.  Cover all of the compartments with tennis balls and work with your dog to find uncover the goodies under the tennis balls.
        • Kibble Grass Hunt: Take a handful of kibble and toss it into a grassy area for your dog to sniff out piece by piece.
        • Pupcicles: The night before, place a few toys in a bucket, bowl or tupperware and fill to the brim with water.  The next day, remove the Pupcicle from its mold and let your dog lick his way to his favorite toys.
        • Stuffed Tennis Ball Hide and Seek: Using an Exacto-Knife, carefully cut a small flap into a tennis ball.  Fill the tennis ball with some kibble, treats and / or peanut butter, showing it to your dog.  Hide that ball (in home or outside works) and work with your dog to sniff out the delicious tennis ball treat, giving him help if needed.
        • Blanket Burrito: While allowing your dog to observe, place his dinner into the middle of blanket or towel.  Wrap up the loose kibble like a burrito, tucking in the edges to increase difficulty, and give to your dog to unwrap and chow down.
        • Bobbing for Toys: Fill a baby pool with a variety of toys, then add water.  Work with your dog to retrieve his toys one by one.  Increase difficultly by asking for toys by name.
        • Find the Toy Game:  Please 4 cardboard boxes in a line with space in between them, putting a well-loved toy or treat in one of the boxes.  Walk back and forth in from on the boxes with your dog leashed to identify the box with the toy, only using his nose.  Increase difficulty by placing a toy in one box and a treat in another, working with him to identify one or the other.

       

      Final Tips for Success

      • Be sure to rotate toys so the same ones aren’t available for play each day.
      • If your dog is prone to chewing and swallowing things, do not leave them alone for any of these activities.
      • Praise and encourage your dogs as they try new puzzles. They may not figure them out on the first go-round, but being present and helping them make it more fun for both of you.
      • Training sessions should only last 10 minutes or as long as your dog is still engaged and having fun. All training should be a positive experience with plenty of rewards.
      • As you add treats into these activities, be sure to reduce your dog’s intake of regular meals to balance daily calories.
      • If your dog is more advanced and these activities are too easy, please share activities you do with your dog so everyone can learn new tricks!
      • Remember – you can do this! A little of it, a lot of it, all of it – your dog will appreciate a week filled with new activities, no matter how many you can fit in!

      Post your photos to Instagram and Twitter and tag them #PAW5EnrichedLifeChallenge

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