5 Fun and Easy DIY Puzzle Games for Your Dog

5 Fun and Easy DIY Puzzle Games for Your Dog

Winter is well and truly with us in South Africa, which probably means you and your dog are not getting out of the house as much as you normally do. Regular walks give dogs more than just physical exercise - their mental health depends on the stimulation too. But come winter, with fewer opportunities for walkies, boredom can set in and result in destructive behaviour.

Giving your dog a mental workout helps to burn off excess energy, provides entertainment, and decreases stress and can be as effective as physical exercise for getting rid of pent up energy!

There are many interactive dog puzzle games on the market, but they can be expensive and until you actually start playing puzzle games with your dog, you won’t be sure whether they’ll actually take to them. So we’ve rounded up some DIY dog puzzle games for dogs that you can create with ordinary household items and won’t take long at all to set up.

1. Tea towel roll up
Lay a tea towel or old bath towel flat and place some treats randomly in a line along the long edge of the towel. Next fold over the towel so it covers the treats you’ve just placed. Place another row of treats and fold the towel over again. Continue until the towel is fully rolled up. Your dog has figure out how to unroll the towel in order to get the treats.

Once your dog gets used to the game and unrolls the towel with ease, the next step would be to tie the rolled towel into a knot. Your dog will then first have to untie the knot before snuffling out the treats. This is a great introduction to snuffling in general and provides excellent mental stimulation.

2. Muffin pan/ tennis ball
All you need is a muffin pan and tennis balls, enough for every cup in the muffin pan. Place a treat in every cup of the muffin pan and cover with a tennis ball. Your dog will have to figure out how to remove the balls to get to the treats. This is a super simple game both for you to set up and for your dog to begin exercising those snuffling skills.

3. Toilet/ paper towel tube
Possibly the most fun of all because this game really allows a dog to rip into something and not get scolded!! Place treats in an empty toilet or paper towel tube and fold over the ends gently. Your dog needs to get at the treats inside by ripping up the tube or using their teeth or paws to pry open the ends. This simple DIY toy is a great way to keep your dog occupied and mentally stimulated.

4. Cardboard box
Finally, a use for those cardboard boxes/ shopping bags lying around the house from those online shopping deliveries! Place some treats inside the box and tape it closed. Next poke holes in the sides of the box/ bag, just a little bigger than the treats. Your dog will have to toss the object around to get the treats out. This game challenges your dog's problem-solving skills and coordination.

5. DIY Kong
Take an old tennis ball, cut a small slit in it, and fill it with treats or kibble. Your dog will have a blast rolling it around and figuring out how to get the tasty rewards inside. It's a fun and interactive way to keep them entertained.

DIY puzzle games are an excellent way to keep your dog mentally stimulated and entertained. Try out these simple and fun games with them and let us know whether your dog enjoyed it!

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