My foster dog Henry usually goes to work with me. But, I was off today and also had a few appointments away from the house, so he spent most of the day at home sleeping. This evening, we went for a nice walk. However, when we got back home, Henry still had plenty of energy!
I usually make Henry “work” for his food. Using mealtime as enrichment provides additional physical exercise and mental stimulation for Henry. He normally eats all of his kibble out of an IQ Treat Ball. But this evening, I thought he needed an even harder challenge. (I also usually make my rats work for their food, something I’ve written about in the past.)
So, I took his kibble, divided it into half a dozen piles and then stuffed each pile into a toilet tissue roll and squished in the edges so the food would not come out. The toilet tissues rolls then got crammed into an egg carton. Finally, I used several zip ties to close the egg carton quite tightly.
Then, I gave the egg carton to Henry.
I have never put Henry’s food in an egg carton before, so he was not quite sure what to do with it at first. In all, it took him a bit over an hour to eat about a cup of food. The picture above is from the very end of this adventure, when Henry has gotten almost all of the food out of the egg carton and was searching for the last few pieces.
Henry spent part of the time figuring out how to hold onto the egg carton and manipulate it so that he could tear it apart. If I do this again with him, I think he will be able to do this faster as he gets better at it. But, for tonight, this was quite a nice challenge for him.
Henry is now curled up on the couch asleep. That was some hard work for this little dog!