Thursday, October 20, 2016

Paw5 Enriched Life Challenge: Day 4

This is our fourth day of the Paw5 Enriched Life Challenge. Paw5 has challenged dog owners to make their pets' lives even better, through enrichment of all sorts! The company has provided tons of suggestions for activities and projects to keep dogs busy throughout the day. Paw5 makes the Wooly Snuffle Mat, and the Rock N Bowl, two really neat puzzle feeders, but the Enriched Life Challenge focuses on homemade puzzles and DIY toys. I've included my cats in the challenge, because indoor kitties can definitely use enrichment!
Hand feeding dinner


Ru the chihuahua usually stays home while Godzilla, Zip and I go to work. He often hangs out with my mother, and today he got some extra social enrichment when my niece and nephew came to visit. The kids don't have dogs at home, and aren't confident with dogs that are big, loud, or fast. Ru is just their speed, he is tiny, mellow, and respectful of personal space. 

Ru went for a walk around the block with the kids, and my seven-year-old niece had the big responsibility of holding his leash the whole way. When they got home, my four-year-old nephew played tug and fetch with him. It sounds like it was a big day of environmental, sensory, and social enrichment for everyone!
Food container puzzle toy


Godzilla worked on her disc catching skills today. She also showed Zip how to run through two poles as a foundation for learning weave poles in agility. I made her a food puzzle out of a takeout container, and it was a totally different shape than any of our store-bought toy! She has been having some back pain recently, so Godzilla also got a nice relaxing massage today.

Upside Down Muffin Tin DinnerZip

Zip isn't very familiar with food puzzles yet, so she was fascinated with kibble poured on an upside down muffin tin. It's food! And it's not in a bowl!

Zip and I also worked more on running through a pair of poles as a foundation for weave pole training. She's not terribly food motivated, so teaching her the early foundations for tricks and agility requires som creativity on my part. 

The Hellions

Kitty garden
My cats, James and Solstice, love to eat houseplants. They are eight-year-old littermates, and for the last eight years I have referred to plants as "cat salads" and only successfully grown them inside terrariums. However, a post on the Chirpy Cats blog got my thinking that they could use a little kitty garden of their own. We're pretty tight on space right now, but I decided to start off with a hanging spider plant in the hopes that they would just devour the dangly bits and let the rest of it live.

Placement of things for the cats requires some consideration around here. There's not a lot of floor space, so most cat-specific things are elevated. I'd love to get them some potted plants, but anything in a plastic pot is likely to get knocked down, and anything in a breakable pot is most certainly going to get broken. We can't have nice things. It looks like hanging and wall-mounted plants are going to be our best bet. So far the hanging spider plant seems to be a success, as there was still some plant in reach when they eventually stopped eating it.

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