How to keep a puppy occupied? Tips for a homemade slow feeder

Puppies are exciting and fun but they are also a lot of hard work. Until a puppy has adjusted to your household routine, they need your help to settle. They also need constant supervision so they don’t get into mischief.

Here is a simple way to keep your young puppy occupied for a short period. You could use this trick while you eat your dinner, have a shower or do a quick “zoom” meeting.

1. Take an empty egg carton.
2. Put your dog’s meal into the “cups” where the eggs are stored.
3. Give the filled egg carton to your puppy in their puppy pen or crate.

When you first use your homemade slow feeder, keep the egg carton lid open, so your puppy can see the food. By placing food in the egg “cups”, your puppy needs to take their time to eat and lick the bottom of each cup to get all the food. Once all the food is eaten, your puppy has a lovely food smelling “toy” that they can chew or rip.

When your puppy understands what a stuffed egg carton means, you can make it a little more challenging for them. You could try:

  • Closing the lid of the carton, so the puppy has to work out how to get to the food.
  • Bury the carton under towels, empty plastic bottles, or cardboard boxes, so the dog needs to use their nose and solve the problem of getting to their food.
  • Add a cap to the food in the egg cups so the dog has to lick it to get to the food beneath. Ideas for a ”cap” include minced meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, kangaroo) smeared over the top of the food in the cup, peanut paste (please check ingredients to ensure it is safe for your dog), or natural yoghurt.
  • Freeze the food before putting it in the egg carton. This option is a little messy but does take your puppy a little more time to consume the food.

Using a slow feeder, homemade or otherwise, is a great way to get your puppy into the routine of going into their confinement area and settling down quietly while you do other things.

Teamwork Dogs offers small group puppy training classes. These classes are designed to meet the specific requirements of puppies at two critical life stages: 10 – 16 weeks and 4 – 8 months. In both courses, Teamwork Dogs’ puppy school trainers help you train your puppy to settle in their confinement area independently without you needing to entertain them. Teamwork Dogs offers puppy school at Taigum on Saturday mornings and Caboolture on Sunday mornings.

For more information please contact us.

Image by flockine from Pixabay