Walter’s Fourth Birthday: Kindness to Animals


Acts of kindness this month? Looking for ways to enrich your dog? In celebration of Walter’s birthday month I wanted to share some ideas! 

  • Place kibble or treats inside muffin tins and cover them with tennis balls – voila! puzzle toys!

One of the tips trainers, Cinthia Alia Mitchell and Nicole Nicassio-Hiskey talk about in their wonderful book are the impact puzzle toys have. Part of “Be Kind to Animals” month should involve in some enrichment ideas for your dogs. Whether it’s finding some puzzle toys like the Nina Ottoson we have in our house OR simple freezing yogurt into Kong’s so your pack has something to occupy themselves when you leave the house are all ways to keep everyone happy!

  • Offer fruits and vegetables – did you know that carrots are a super food for dogs?

There are great veggies for your dogs and they’re all awesome snacks. Did you know carrots are a “super food”. Try cutting them up and using as a kong stuffer.

There are other foods of course that are great like Sweet Potatoes.

  • Pop up tunnels and tents are great areas for dogs to explore

As the pet parent of two doxies, we love tunnels! Not the type they can dig themselves but tunnels you can put in the backyard or even your living room. Some of these look like agility tunnels but they’re just small ways to enrich your dogs on a rainy day. Look here for more details: – they have different sizes for different breeds

Let’s call this environmental enrichment. There are a lot of great activities that fall into this category and perfect ideas for this week!

  • A sniff walk – let you dog sniff EVERYTHING on their walk and make it about that vs. rushing through their morning walk before work

This is why we do Nosework. Nosework gives my dogs a job and it’s the greatest form of enrichment. They love the hunt and it’s low tech. I recommend looking at classes in your area but once you watch your instructor you can work on containers at home. My dogs even search for odor on vehicles in our driveway. This is a great sport that ALL dogs can participate in including dogs like Shermie – that are reactive on leash. This sport is a “one dog at a time” sport. So dogs don’t interact.


  • Ride in the car! Take your dog with you on a cool day when you’re running errands and let them experience some daily adventures with

you! How easy is this!






There are 18 Comments

  1. Great ideas! I love the muffin tin idea. Ruby also loves carrots and pumpkin, too. And car rides are always a big hit.

  2. We play the muffin tin game a lot over here!

  3. nichole says:

    Awesome ideas! Happy Birthday Walter!

  4. What great ideas! Happy Birthday!!

  5. Lindsay says:

    Awwe! Happy Birthday Walter! 🙂 My boy Charlie turns NINE (!!) next Monday. The years just fly by, don’t they?!

    • Thank you! And happy birthday to Charlie!! Nine!!! That’s awesome – I hope your birthday celebration is outstanding! And yes the years go by so fast — our oldest dog is 12. OMD!!

  6. Valerie says:

    Happy Birthday!!!!!
    Thank you for these great tips! Amy loves her kong toy, next time I’ll mix some carrots with the paste!
    Love x

    • Awesome– thank you! Since it keeps them so busy I’ve been shredding up just about anything – I put ham and cheese in Kongs this morning! XO!

  7. Happy Birthday! We too play the muffin tin game!

  8. What great ideas. Happy Birthday to Walter!

  9. What a fantastic post! I love the idea of creating puzzle treats using muffin tins and tennis balls. So smart and doable. So many great ideas here!