Hopefully you and your dogs are all keeping cool during this heatwave?
We’ve been heading out early-doors every morning for the last week but with Merle on restricted exercise, and still so much fox-activity for many anti-social early morning arrrrrooooos from Ted, I decided to give the next couple of mornings a miss.
I know only too well the struggle to keep high energy dogs entertained during these long days at home hiding from the sun, so while we're holed up in Cwtches HQ trying to stay cooL I thought I'd share with you what our schedule looks like and how I'm making really good use of the Calm Dog Games enrichment deck.
If you haven’t got a deck yet click on the link and you can get yourself a deck with a 5% discount using code CWTCHES
Early morning - Sniffy Garden Play
Having decided to keep the gang at home for at least Monday and Tuesday I thought we’d start our day with breakfast al fresco, enjoy the weather before it gets too hot, and play some Scatter Feed games. We’re not by nature a slow-paced family; three Beagles, and a Collie x Shepherd, we’re all about play, movement, and scentwork, so slowing down is always a challenge.
If you’re taking your dog out early, perhaps think about keeping them on-lead and focus on sniffy-walks instead? This will help prevent your dog from overheating from too much running around. Sniffy walks are designed to be slow & relaxed, so not pulling your dog along and telling them to hurry up, the point is to give your dog as much time to sniff as they want.
Breakfast - Scatter feed
Although I feed The Beags and Elsie a Butternut Box wet food diet, I am still able to play Scatter feeding games which creates an opportunity for more calm sniffing!
This morning I used Kongs for their wet food and threw around some chopped frozen cucumber, celery, carrot and green peas. Make sure the food you use is dog-safe, used in moderation and introduced slowly!
If you have a small lawn, you can also portion out food into multiple scatter sessions. This way, you can extend the time your dog is sniffing for the food.
Don't have a garden? Use a snufflemat or set out portions of food in enrichment feeders across the room to create a bit of a treasure hunt vibe.
I’m very fortunate that I’ve never struggled with getting The Beags and Elsie to rest and nap.
Though we’re a very busy bunch, we’re also very good at naps. I’ve got cooling fans in every room, made sure the blinds and curtains were closed until the sun passed, and the windows open to keep a through-draft.
When it was a little cooler they were able to enjoy naps in the shade while I cooled myself in their pool that they don't use
There are tons of cards in the Calm Dog Games "Calm" and "Puzzle" categories that you can use to extend dinnertime, giving your dog a soothing enrichment outlet as well as working their brain.
To add a cooling element, you can freeze your lickmats, Kongs, Toppls etc. If you don't have any of those, you can use an ice tray!
Be creative with your foods, frozen fruits and veggies are a firm favourite here.
Late night - Sniffy Wander
If it's cooled down, I'll take them out late in the evening for a street walk and a mooch. For the next few days, the night time temps are staying pretty high so we might at best take a short car ride to the local park for half an hour.
London is scorching right now so we've not always been able to get out as we’re desperately avoiding pavement walks.
If you can't get out, scent games can be played in the house to get in some sniffy time. There are progressive scent games to play in the deck of Calm Dog Games or you can just hide their favourite toy and send them to find it.
To make sessions last longer, have them search multiple rooms.
Chew 'N Chill
Chewing is a great way for dogs to relieve stress, tension or frustration. Look for long lasting chews. The ones that can be eaten within a couple minutes just give your dog a big calorie (energy) boost while not giving them actual enriching chewing.
The Beags like ostrich bones, yak chews, and antlers. They’ll typically spend 20-40 minutes on a chewing session and then be ready for another nap!
If you have a rope toy, you can soak it in water and then freeze it for a cooling chew, or tie a knot in a tea towel and do the same.
Enjoy the rest of your week.
Georgi & Beags, and Elsie
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