9 alternative feeding ideas to brighten your dog’s days

Instead of feeding your dog from the same food bowl at every meal, spice up his life with a few alternative containers. Not only will you provide him with entertainment, but you will also stimulate his mind and keep him occupied for a while. You’re basically giving him a job to do, and his reward is his nutritious meal.

 

1. Slow-feeding bowl

The purpose of a slow-feeding bowl is to get a dog to eat more slowly. It is mainly used for dogs who gulp down their food and then struggle with indigestion. But you can also use this bowl instead of your dog’s usual bowl to occupy him for a little longer. There are a variety of different slow-feeding bowls available on the market, meaning that you can get multiple bowls to make your dog’s life a little more interesting.

 

2. Snuffle mat

Snuffle mats are all the rage at the moment, and for good reason. With this mat, a dog gets to use his olfactory sense to find his food. There are so many different styles to choose from – your dog would probably love one! Dry dog food and treats work best with these mats. Just make sure that you wash it after every meal.

 

3. Scatter feeding

Another way to make your dog’s day more interesting is to scatter feed. You simply scatter his food either on the grass or on the floor inside the house. It is a game that won’t cost you anything, and again, your dog will need to use his olfactory sense.

 

4. Muffin pan

If you have a muffin pan, you can fill the cups with some of his food. You can place one piece of kibble or a spoonful of his wet food in each cup, and then refill them as he finishes his food.

Or you can turn the muffin pan upside down with some of his food underneath it. He then has to figure out a way to get to his food.

 

5. Upside-down cups

Place a few cups upside-down on the floor with some of his food underneath them. This works similarly to the upside-down muffin pan – your dog has to figure out how to get to the food.

 

6. Puzzle toy

Puzzle toys are created so that dogs will use their minds to figure out how to get to their food. Start with a simple toy and help him to figure it out. As the task gets easier for him, you can get more complicated puzzles. Allow him to figure it out as he progresses.

 

7. Licking mat

Licking mats are great – you can spread something like peanut butter on them for your dog to lick, or you can simply add one piece of kibble in each block and allow him to eat the pieces of kibble one by one. You can also use wet food on a licking mat.

 

8. Stuffed toy

Stuffed toys, like Kongs, are another way to keep your dog’s mind stimulated. He needs to figure out how to get the food out of the toy, and the food is his reward for all his hard work.

 

9. Frozen food

On a hot day, dogs enjoy something cold. First get your vet’s go-ahead, and if it’s in order, freeze some of your dog’s food overnight in a small container. Allow him to nibble on the ice to get to the food. This will also keep him occupied for a while and he will be rewarded for his effort when he gets to his food.

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