Qwerty has had a kong go slow bowl since he was a puppy. First off, I was going to make sure that I never had a dog that inhaled his food in one bite because that is not good for their health. But there are other benefits to feeding him in “non traditional” ways.
I often get asked how I live with a young GSP, “isn’t he crazy?” Sure he has his crazy moments where he drives me up the wall, but for the most part those are fleeting and we are able to combat those. Mental stimulation and enrichment are KEY to survival with a high energy dog.
Of course we have talked about Daycare, 2 days a week helps break up Qwerty’s “work” week and gives him some of the exercise he needs. And then there is the Frisbee, which helps as well. But his brain is what we need to focus on slowing down most of the time. One key way of doing this is making him THINK about his meals and not just EAT his meals.
We have a few different puzzle feeders, and I am always on the look out for more to help change up his routine. Sometimes I even split his meal up between multiple puzzle feeders. As I sit here and type he is eating a meal out of a treat ball and a kong wobble feeder. It takes him 15-20 minutes to finish a meal, and usually it helps keep him calmer throughout the day, especially on days where we could not get outside as much as we would like.
Enrichment is an important part of our every day life for ALL sentient beings. Especially if you are feeding your pet the same thing every day, its important to make meal time more interesting. This can also help stimulate appetite a little bit for those dogs who get bored of what they eat. If you put their food in a different puzzle all the time they will be more engaged and more apt to want to eat.
I also have fun watching Qwerty eat and figure out the puzzles. Its almost become another way for us to bond. Plus he is more relaxed, which in turn makes me more relaxed, and our overall relationship has greatly improved.
If you have a puzzle feeder or a unique way to feed your pet, PLEASE share it with me, I am ALWAYS looking for new ways to make Qwerty’s life more fun and interesting!!! Comment here, DM us on Intstagram (@qwertywonderpup) or Facebook (@qwerty), E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org!