This heatwave has really put a damper on my dog’s activity options. He has boundless energy, but it’s just too hot for me to give him the exercise he needs outside. How can I keep him occupied and calm until we can get back to our outdoor routine?
Hot Dog Dad
Dear Hot Dog Dad,
During times when outdoor activity isn’t possible, mental enrichment can burn energy just as well as moderate physical exercise. When your dog has to actively think about how to execute a puzzle to retrieve that tasty treat, he’s engaging in his natural instinctive behavior, which can improve overall mental health, boost brain development, and help prevent depression. Of course, during the hot summer months, there’s no better challenge than a FROZEN treat! Many of our enrichment toys are freezer-safe, which means you can customize them with his favorite treats and toppers and then pop them in the freezer for a longer-lasting chilly treat.
Top toys to keep your dog calm, cool, and engaged
- Lick Mats: Lick mats offer versatility with dozens of colors and styles to choose from. Some sit flat, some suction to a mirror or window, and others will add extra fun by wobbling around the room. Check out our top lick mat fillers here!
- The West Paw Toppl: An NPP favorite, this toy offers versatility, challenge, and durability. Inner rubber ‘fingers’ can hold anything from apple slices to bully sticks, and give your pup’s tongue a great workout!
- The Classic Kong: Turn these bad boys upside down inside a small cup. Cover the tiny hole with a dab of peanut butter, put in a few of Fido’s favorite treats, and fill the rest with bone broth or goat milk. Bon appetit!
- Water Buffalo Horn: A 100% natural chew composed of keratin – like your fingernails – excellent for super tough chewers. Coat the inside with some (dog-safe) peanut butter or Goat Whip for a durable, lickable, chillable chew.
Not sure what to fill ‘em with?
NPP top recommendations for freezer-worthy fillers!
- Raw Goat Milk
- Bone Broth (make sure to grab one just for pets!)
- Red Barn bully sticks
- Barkworthies beef collagen sticks
- freeze-dried body parts (like duck heads, chicken feet, and pig snouts)
Get creative with fresh add-ins:
- Apple slices
- Carrot sticks
- Mashed banana
- Mashed sweet potato
- Spinach or kale leaves
*Learn why fresh fruits and veggies are beneficial to your pet here!