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Health & Pupstyle

May 14, 2019

Tips From an Expert Dog Trainer - Mealtime Games

Author: Erin Kramer
Featured Blogger
Owner of Tug Dogs Professional Training

I have been feeding my dogs Grandma Lucy’s for years and I love the variety and quality of ingredients that it provides for my dogs. I also love how many fun and simple games there are we can play when it comes to meal time. If your dog loves Grandma Lucy’s like my crew does, try out these three games with them and let us know which one your pup thinks is the best!

Game 1: Frozen Grandma Lucy’s Maze Bowl Game

One of my favorite games is also one of the simplest. After all, who doesn’t like getting to do little work for us humans while giving your dog a fun food challenge! All you will need is a maze style (slow feeder) bowl and a bag of Grandma Lucy’s dog food. Simply mix your Grandma Lucy’s with water (or even chicken broth) and stir. Once combined, pour the mixture into your maze bowl and cover with a plastic bag or foil. Slide the entire bowl into the freezer and in no time you’ll have a frozen doggy popsicle meal that will last much longer than a regular bowl of food!

We use this game all the time when working with dogs who have a variety of behavior issues. Have a dog who is rude and jumps all over guests? Pull out your frozen maze bowl and give your pup something positive to focus on instead of vaulting onto your visitors. Working on teaching your dog a place command (to stay on a spot)? Giving them a frozen Grandma Lucy’s maze bowl provides them with a long-lasting treat to reward their good behavior. Struggling with separation anxiety? Try getting your dog to focus on their Grandma Lucy’s maze bowl as part of their anxiety treatment instead of worrying about where you are.

Game 2: Hide and Seek with Grandma Lucy’s Tiny Tidbets Game

We all know dogs have a powerful sense of smell. Why not put their sniffer to good use? Searching for treats is a great way to help a calm dog settle, a nervous dog build confidence, and is so much fun for any dog.

To play simply remove your dog from view such as putting them in a bedroom with the door closed or in their crate. Then just place your Tiny Tidbet treats around the house and when your dog comes out, encourage them to start looking. Most dogs will need a few easy finds to start but will quickly become expert searchers! One key to success is to make this a CALM activity. To do this, role model calm behavior by quietly asking your dog to search instead of encouraging them to frantically forage through the house :)

Game 3: Grandma Lucy’s Organic Baked Dog Treats Ball Pit Game

For this fun game, you will need a baby pool and either some ball pit style balls or empty water/soda bottles. Without your dog looking, sprinkle some Grandma Lucy’s Organic Baked Dog Treats into the pool and cover the balls or bottles over top. Then bring out your dog and watch them have a blast finding all their snacks!

We use this game to enrich our daily feeding routines so that our pups don’t get bored just eating out of a bowl. Breaking up your dog’s routine and integrating a fun feeding game adds to their quality of life and can even help them build inner confidence, release pent up mental energy, and just enjoy life that much more.

 

Please note, you should be directly supervising dogs when playing food puzzle games to ensure they are having safe fun. Searching and puzzle games should not be played with dogs who have food resource guarding issues, become intensely hyper-aroused for food, or have pica without the assistance of a qualified trainer.