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Fun Feeding Fridays

What is your dog’s favorite time of the day? For many dogs, it’s mealtime! If I had dogs rank their favorite things on a scale of 1-10, I’m sure eating would be a 15. Nothing makes dogs’ tails wag faster than seeing me reach for their food. We've had dogs drool, jump up and down, bark, run in circles, run around the room, and create general chaos - all because they were excited to see their food bowls.

Feeding from a bowl is convenient and quick for most, but after years of putting food in a bowl for dogs to gulp down in less than a minute, I realised that I was wasting fantastic opportunities. If I made some changes, I could bond with our dogs, challenge them mentally, and extend their happiness past 60 seconds.

There are so many ways to enrich a dog’s life during mealtime, we will be showing you a new way each Friday, many of which will cost you nothing! 

Puzzles, Kongs and food dispensing toys act as enrichment for the dogs, which enhances the quality of care by providing the environmental stimuli necessary for optimal psychological and physiological well-being. Basically, it lets the dogs work their noses, paws, mouths and brains! Plus, it provides a lot of fun and improves their problem solving skills, making them easier to train - whats not to love! Especially with a food loving Estrela!

Moving beyond the bowl and finding new ways to feed your dog produces many benefits. Boredom and destructive behaviors decrease while creativity and constructive activity increases. If your dog eats very quickly, taking away the bowl and feeding via a puzzle toy, treat dispenser, or by hand in a training session will slow down your dog and decrease the likelihood of bloat, poor digestion, and other problems associated with fast ingestion.

Best of all, when you feed your dog with a bowl free method, you’re not only training your dog, but building a stronger bond. Your dog loves to eat, and loves to find ways to find food. When you hand-feed and play with your dog during his meal, you become the source of that coveted meal. Your dog will enjoy spending this quality time with you, and you will enjoy spending the extra special time with him!

To start us off I'll show you Sulley aka Estjak Rio Douro eating his dinner from a slow feeder bowl. This activity took 12 minuets, much better then the 30 seconds from a standard bowl. To see a short clip of Sulley working it out pop along to our Facebook or Instagram pages.

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