Barney’s Mum Ann knitted and stitched together a wonderful enrichment blanket for him that is easy and quick to make and will provide your dog with something they will love!
It is all homemade and the only concerns that Ann has mentioned is that it works better on a non-slip floor and be careful of dogs that have long nails as they will scratch the blanket initially until they learn that they can find the food with their noses. Watch out for any long declaws getting caught and always watch them as any over zealous feeders may chew the wool!
It is washable and we advise using our lovely dry homemade Umami treats in the snuffle blanket or delicious Green Crunch biscuits.
Another name for the ‘snuffle blanket’ is an enrichment tool for mental stimulation. They can be made (or purchased) in various styles and materials. If your dog gulps their feed and does not even chew (as our little Ruff does), then these are perfect ways to entertain, slow down their feeding and provide some mental stimulation.
This snuffle blanket is ideal mental stimulation for dogs on restricted exercise or with reduced mobility due to arthritis for example. Foraging games are especially beneficial to senior dogs with cognitive dysfunction and ‘golden oldies’ whose other senses may be in decline and who come to rely more on their sense of smell (that our elderly dogs never seem to lose). Standing when foraging through the pockets provides these elderly dogs with a few minutes gentle weight-bearing exercise, or you can let them lie down and snuffle for the treats if they are struggling to stand.
If your dog is too excited about the blanket and shows signs that he/she may get a claw caught in the wool, or worse, may swallow some of the wool; we advise rather trying a large Kong that drops small amounts of food at a time onto the floor. A plastic bottle will work just as well with treats inside that fall as the bottle is rolled, but always supervise your dog with fabrics and plastic. Kongs tend to be indestructible.
Another game to play with your dog is to hide his/her food and food bowl and encourage him/her to play hide and seek to find it – some dogs absolutely love this!
Here is another mental enrichment game that may entertain the whole family!
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