Friday, April 19, 2013

Sniff It! Why You Should Encourage Your Dog to Use His Nose

As dog owners help their pets learn the rules of human society, we also put limits on how they interact with their environment.---"Don’t smell the neighbor’s butt!”---“Stop sniffing the ground!  We’re walking now.”---“Take your nose out of the fridge!”---

Dogs use their noses much more than we humans do, so give your dog a chance to sniff it!  Here are a few easy ways to let your dog use his nose. 

1. Throw some of your dog’s food in the grass and let him hunt for the tiny pieces of kibble.  

2. Using an old muffin tin, place dry food in the bottom of the tin and place tennis balls on top of the food.  Let your dog “find” the food under the tennis ball.  

3. Try stacking some egg cartons together with some dry food in between.  Click on the video below to see an example of this do-it-yourself toy.  

video

These are just a few simple ways you can encourage your dog to use his nose.  Use your imagination, try a few sniff-it games of your own, and let your dog hunt!

Not convinced?  Here are some more great reasons to play sniff it games with your dog. 

Hunting ...
1. Burns calories.   
If you’re watching your pet’s waistline, try some sniff games!

2. Provides mental stimulation.   
Bust your pup’s boredom by hiding some treats around the house.

3. Builds confidence.   
Increase your dog’s interest in engaging with environment by placing cookies in the yard or house for him to find.