Understand Your Dog’s Need To Feed
Are you an owner struggling to calm an energized or anxious dog? Has the cold winter kept your jogging partner sitting on the couch
or is he looking a little rounder? The answer to the healthiest way to feed your dog might be throwing his bowl away. All animals have to work and use their senses for finding a meal and your dog shouldn’t be an exception.
Unfortunately, we can’t always help how long we are away, but an alternative feeding method could make your dog’s entire day. If a dog is left home alone for the majority of the day he isn’t able to stimulate his mind or body. Feeding your dog in a more stimulating or intimate way has great counter effects on negative or hyperactive behavior. By letting your dog earn their food they actually find greater enjoyment in the meal and are using their energy in a positive way.
Other dogs that benefit from dog food puzzles or hand feeding would be those who eat too quickly. These dogs have impulse control behavior and can hurt themselves by scarfing food down. Letting these dogs seek for food leaves them more satisfied and less likely to choke or vomit later. Using toys or modified dog bowls are also an option for owners with a tighter schedule.
Finding A Mealtime Method
Luckily, there is a long list of feeding methods that can fit your schedule and your dog’s needs. Dogs can find relief and reduction of separation distress or destructive behavior when feeding methods are practiced. Each method has a different purpose and benefit, from training to bonding. A few great options would be training for dinner, handling practice, scatter feeding and puzzle toys.
Training For Meals
Using mealtime as a training session is a great way to make progress in. You can also use this as a way to curve behavior like barking on walks or bite inhibition. Feeding your dog during walks can teach proper leash manners and enforces the idea of working for his food. Another great opportunity to feed your dog while training is Mat Training which relieves anxiety.
Dog Handling Practice
Some of your dogs might have issues with handling or a bite inhibition that can be reduced with positive reinforcement in the form of hand feeding. Training your dog to ignore when you touch their ear, paw and mouth areas can help grooming and vet visits. Hand feeding creates a large bond that teaches a dog that you provide for him.
Scatter feeding exercises every dog’s most basic senses to sniff down a reward. Your dog’s food can be scattered outside or in your home for them to track down. We all know how excited dogs get when they find something edible (or close to edible) outside so it’ll be a relief to know it’s just food.
Dog Feeding Toys
When some dogs become bored or anxious they turn to destructive behavior that can be entertained by a feeding tool. These tools allow you to give your dog something to stimulate them either when you aren’t there or if you have limited feeding time. Slower feeding with puzzle toys or frozen meals is a great way for your dog to enjoy a meal at a safe pace as well. There are many buyable toys online but if you are looking for an affordable project creating a Snuffle Mat is always an option.