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  • Hahnbee Choi, Cert. CN

Importance Of Enrichment In Raw Feeding

The main purpose of enrichment is to reduce stress, improve behavior, and increase the animal's overall well-being by providing physical and mental stimulants that allow the dog to perform species-appropriate behaviors such as digging, chewing, foraging & more.

As fresh feeders, you want the absolute best for your dogs and strive to make their lives all-around better. Enrichment is just another way to contribute to your dog's life positively! Here are some easy ways to incorporate enrichment activities into your dog's life.

#1 Raw Meaty Bones

This is because of the motion of tearing meat off of raw bones, scrubs, and floss the tartar and plaque off their teeth!

In addition, edible bones allow the dogs to chew, stimulates saliva enzymes, and prevents plaque build-up and gingivitis (gum disease).

Chewing on raw bones also provides your dogs with vitamins and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. Edible bones are also a fantastic choice for teething puppies.

When feeding bones, it is always important to never leave your dog unattended. Any chew given should always be under supervision.

Recreational bones are not recommended. These are dense, non-edible bones such as knuckles, femurs, and ruminant legs since there is a high chance of a tooth fracture. If you know that your dog is an extremely soft chewer, you may be able to feed these bones, but it's important to be aware of the risk. Rather than feeding, save recreational bones for bone broth! The bone marrow in recreational bones provides essential nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin K2, omega-3s, omega-6s, and minerals like iron, zinc, selenium, boron, and manganese, which will add even more nutrients to the broth.

#2 Puzzle, Mazes & Stuffing Toys

Puzzle, Maze & stuffing toys alleviate boredom, provide physical exercise, prevent anxiety, and help onset dementia in older pets. These toys are made in various shapes and sizes.

Toppls and puzzle toys are great for raw feeding or wet foods since they do not require the toy to be flipped to access the food and are super easy to clean. To make the level of difficulty even harder, you can freeze the stuffing toys in your freezer.

Many find owners with a bit of an enrichment addiction, but it's one of the healthier addictions to have...right?

Here Stormy is eating her DIY raw meal out of the Outward Hound Brick puzzle toy.

Pre-made raw stuffed in their Toppls for some dinner enrichment!

#3 Foraging

Canines forage because it was vital for their survival and reproduction in the wild. Since your precious dogs aren't in the wild, they don't have to forage to survive. But this instinctual behavior is still coded in their DNA. So whether your dog searched the house floor for crumbs or found goodies outside, your canine companion is foraging.

You can stimulate their foraging needs by giving them exercises to use their senses in a beneficial and enriching way.

1. Outside

You can throw a handful of treats outside in your backyard, and your dog will have a blast using their nose to find the goods, which allows the dog to get mental and physical stimulation.

2. Snuffle Mats

You can make your own DIY snuffle mat, or there are tons out on the market. This tool brings the outside snuffle mat indoors. It can also be used as a slow feeder for a dry food diet. Otherwise, you can hide single ingredient treats in all the nooks and crannies.

It is so great that there are now so many enrichment products available! Enrichment is a critical part of raising a happy, healthy dog in every aspect of their life. You can see such a difference when incorporating enrichment frequently.

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