Spend R500 or more and receive FREE SHIPPING.

Simple tricks to make your dog happier, smarter and less bored every day

Simple tricks to make your dog happier, smarter and less bored every day

Dog and puppy enrichment toys are a great way to keep restless dogs, curious puppies, and boredom-induced aggressive chewers at bay. By combining playtime with treat time — or even mealtime for speedy eaters! — your pooch will be getting the mental stimulation they need.

Every pet parent knows what it’s like when their four-legged friend seems on edge or appears to be crawling up the walls—even after exercise. In these cases, their dogs need some enrichment. A walk doesn’t always cut it.

Dogs and Cats are meant to live active lives, rather than sleep until their owners come home. Many studies, especially those conducted by zoos, have shown that enriching an animal’s environment improves the psychological and physical well-being of animals.

Did you know?

  • 15 minutes of mental activity with dog treat games is equal to 30 minutes of physical exercise!
  • Treat dispensing dog toys and puzzles help to eliminate boredom and prevent destructive behaviours by providing mental enrichment.
  • Eating slower via interactive treat toys, food puzzle games, or slow feeders can prevent serious health issues like dog bloat. 
  • All dogs can benefit from mental enrichment activities and scent games, including puppies, senior dogs, and all breeds and sizes!


6 Types of Enrichment for Dogs

Social enrichment

Provides opportunities for a pet to spend time with other animals and people in new, different environments. Examples include trips to the dog park, car rides or even going to the office with mom or dad.

Social enrichment is easy to provide even if you’re a working pet parent. Occasional drop in visits from a pet sitter or dog walker can give your dog the opportunity for an extra play session midday. For bored or restless dogs, doggy day care can be a good option, too. Even if it’s not every day, it gives your dog something to look forward to during the week.

Cognitive enrichment

Provides opportunities for thinking and problem-solving. Examples include Puzzle toys, ‘Nose work’- all dogs can excel at the odour game – and Hide and Seek - Ask your dog to stay, and then run and hide from your pet before calling them. This also builds a strong recall! Treat generously when your dog finds you.



Physical enrichment

Enhances the animal’s living space by changing or adding complexity to the environment. You can provide a bury/dig pit by hiding some toys in a kiddie pool filled with sand. Blanket forts and tents (your kids might love these too). Pop up tunnels similar to what’s used for agility training.


Sensory enrichment

Enrichment that stimulates any of the five senses. Nose work is good example.

Blowing bubbles, and bubbles for your pooch to catch. Sprinkling some herbs and spices around. (Mint and cinnamon are not toxic and can be added to pet toys to encourage sniffing) Other animal scents. (on an old t-shirt) or Wind chimes that can introduce new sounds for cats and dogs.



Feeding enrichment

Make mealtime more challenging and interesting. This includes how food is presented. Treats under a blanket. Simple—just hide them out of sight! A puzzle feeder can slow gulpers down and stimulate the mind while Ice treats are always a great idea in the hot summer months.


Toy enrichment

Objects that can be manipulated in some way—explored via feet, tail, and mouths! (Always take age into consideration). With all the dog puzzle toys out there with varying levels of difficulty, what’s a doggo to choose?



The Bottom Line on Choosing the Right Interactive Dog Toy

Always remember to keep your pet safe. There is no such thing as an indestructible dog toy. Dog owners should always supervise their pets during playtime.

Whether you choose to try one of these Outward Hound designs, a classic Kong or your own DIY snuffle mat or doggie treat dispenser, at the end of the day, it’s important to give our pets the daily mental stimulation they need. Our pups need more than just a dog chew toy to keep them occupied. After all, 15 minutes of mental activity using a dog puzzle is equal to 30 minutes of a game of fetch with a ball launcher!

No matter their breed or age, both small dogs and large dogs deserve a quality brain game.

These interactive dog and puppy enrichment toys can be found on our website, www.mcmac.co.za  and your local pet store!

Still have questions about our dog games? We’re happy to lend a paw! Please send your questions to info@mcmac.co.za


Excepts from article by:


By Christy Caplan, C.V.T.