How to keep your dogs entertained with Enrichment toys

Hi everyone! 

I’m Hollie and I’m so excited to be writing a blog post for Homeward Hound. 

I am the owner of a little Lakeland x Jack Russell called Hope.  

Hope is one year old and absolutely love’s walks, sleeping, barking at everything, demanding treats and being spoiled! The funniest thing is she thinks every parcel that comes through the door is hers! (She really is spoilt lol!). 

She hates bin men, flies, brooms and sharing her treats with her spaniel sisters! (The list could go on!). 

Ever since Hope was a puppy, I’ve used enrichment toys and she loves them! They are great for getting your dog to use their nose and their brain. Designed to help keep your dog busy whilst you’re away, when they’re bored and stimulate their natural curiosity.

Here are a few enrichment toys that your dogs can enjoy! 


Lick Mat

Lick mats are amazing at keep your dog entertained for a few minutes! You can pop your lick mats into the freezer to make them last longer!  

Here’s a few food ideas you can use:

  • Peanut Butter (xylitol free)
  • Mashed Banana
  • Veggie Purées 
  • Plain Greek Yogurt or Kefir
  • Mashed Sweet Potato
  • Honey
  • Steamed Veggies 
  • Raw Meat (if you’re raw feed) 
  • Apple Sauce (Natural, sugar-free applesauce with no xylitol is best).
  • Wet Dog Food
  • Chopped Fruit


Snuffle Mats

Snuffle Mats are great for encouraging your dog to use their nose to sniff and search out the tasty treats! You simply hide a few treats or your choice of food into the mat (make sure to pop them right in between the strands of material as far in as possible!). This will make it more of a challenge for them to sniff out any of the food you’ve hidden and hopefully keep them entertained longer! This is perfect for getting them to use their brain. 


Puzzle Toys

Puzzle toys are great brain stimulation for your doggies! Puzzle Toys have plenty of health and behavioral benefits too! 

Your dog has to figure out how to get the reward (food). All Puzzle Toys provide your dog with plenty of mental stimulation and help relieve boredom. 

They not only keep your dogs entertained they also are great for anxious dogs or dogs with separation anxiety. 

When a dog with separation anxiety is home alone with nothing to do, they are more likely to worry that you are gone and not with them. Puzzle Toys make excellent distractions for worried dogs who may suffer when you’re not there or are anxious. 

(These are also great for puppies that are into everything!). 


Old cardboard Boxes

This is one of my favourites! Everyone has cardboard boxes and toilet roll tubes around the house! It’s so easy to do! Most items from your food shop will come in some sort of cardboard box, so it’s something that you could get up and have a go at now. It’s also a great way to get more use from your waste and is cost effective! 

There are plenty of tutorial’s on YouTube to show you how to assemble a DIY puzzle! 

A few ideas:

  • Kitchen Roll 
  • Postal Boxes
  • Cereal boxes 
  • Toilet Roll Tubes

Make sure to check in on your dog as they may get carried away and then eat the cardboard! A tiny amount wouldn’t be worrying but i would advise you to supervise your dog whilst they are enjoying their DIY puzzle! 


Freezing fruit in Ice

Freezing fruit is perfect for the summertime! 

It’s a healthy option for your doggies too!

Pop 1-3 pieces of fruit into your ice mould and add water ¾ to the top. Freeze for 2-3 hours. 

Here are a few dog friendly fruits:

  • Bananas (in very small amounts as they are high in sugar)
  • Strawberries (very sugary so only very small amounts)
  • Raspberries
  • Mango (remove hard stone/pit and skin)
  • Blueberries
  • Cucumber 
  • Apples (de-seeded and cored)
  • Cranberries 
  • Watermelon – (remove rind and seeds)

I hope some of these tips can keep your doggies entertained! 


Lots of Love, Hollie & Hope

Find us on Instagram: @hopetheterrier