I wanted to properly introduce Abby on my blog, before jumping into a post. Abby is my Service Dog In Training. She is a rescue. Abby is a lab mix who is eight months old. We are in the beginning stages of training, however, her progress is astonishing. She has only been home for a month.
Like most pet parents, I frequently post pictures of Abby on my Facebook. After receiving a question I decided to do this post on how I feed Abby. This is by no means only for service dogs; any dog can benefit from this. Additionally, let me point out, we do not do this for every meal.
Let’s begin with basics. Dogs have the tendency to eat fast. Some will basically swallow forgetting to chew which causes issues. One serious issue is “gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) which is air excessive air, fluid, and food filling the stomach, followed by swelling (dilatation) of the stomach cavity.” Other dogs will vomit which is less serious but let’s face it we don’t want to regularly deal with that either. Then there is the issue of the dog becoming hungry quicker.
This is Abby’s bowl. It was the same price as her “normal” bowl at Wal-Mart. In addition, we do not give her a full meal at one time. It is split at least into two portions.
Meal Time is Game Time
Games engage a dog’s mind and help burn a little energy. Having a dog play for their food makes meal time exciting and rewarding. Abby is a huge fan of games. She would play games all day if she could.
Muffin Tin Ball Game. This is by far Abby’s favorite game at the moment. It is so simple to put together. This is an old muffin tin. I drop 1-4 pieces of food in a section than cover with a dog ball. She takes off the balls and eats the food.
The towel sniff out game. Take an old towel. Then simply place kibble and roll up. The object is for the dog to unroll the towel.
A piece or a few pieces of kibble on the floor then place a cup over it. This one got old quick for us. I have seen people stack cups and place kibble in between. However, Abby doesn’t like to play that.
This game we used scraps of fabric and rolled up kibble. Next stuffed the ball. Abby pulls out each piece and unrolls.
She also enjoys playing hid and seek with her food. I hid it in different boxes around one floor of the house. At times we have her games in different rooms as well.
Those are our DIY dog games. Let us know your favorite DIY dog games!