Summer's almost over, time to get back to school! Get educated on training treats and puzzle toys with these tips!
Here at Long Dog Fat Cat, we’re all about the health and nutrition of our pets. We love training our animals to do tricks and be the best behaved pets they can be, but we’re certainly no professional dog trainers. That being said, this month we’re talking all about dog training and giving our own LDFC take on what we think are great training tips!
First let’s talk treats. One of our specialties! We’re passionate about feeding our pets the best, and that includes in-between meal times! Not all treats are created equal, so we’ll break down what we think are the most important components:
Have you ever tossed your pet a large treat? Notice how it takes them at least a few seconds to chew, chomp, and crunch it down. With animals’ attention span, the focus they had on the task you gave them is now gone. Poof! This is why it’s important to make sure the size of your training treats are small enough for your pet to enjoy, but swallow quickly and easily. Small soft or crunchy treats are the way to go, and brands like Bixbi, Tuesday’s (formerly NDC), Fromm, and even our LDFC House Brand make treats that are small enough to make your pet say “More please!” as soon as they hit their mouths!
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: Single Ingredient treats are the superior treat! Not only are these high value, being primarily organ or muscle meat, but they’re healthier than your more processed training treats (which means you can give more, right??). Green Juju just rolled out a couple new single ingredient treats in Salmon and Rabbit, and Tickled Pet has excellent single ingredient treats- just make sure to break them up into smaller pieces beforehand!
How would you like to eat the exact same snack all day long? Would you be very excited about it? Probably not. Our pets can feel similarly, which is why we love to provide them with a variety of treats when we train! Vital Essentials has a multitude of different single ingredient treats ranging from freeze dried chicken breast to freeze dried minnows! Tossing a few different proteins and types of meat can keep your pet interested as you train!
Now that we’ve gotten all stocked up on treats, let’s get to work! When we can’t get to our local dog trainers (and cat trainers? Are y’all out there?) we like to work our pets right at home! But if you don’t have your own herd of sheep (or kids… the goat kind or human kind) there are still ways your pets can use their big brains! Mental enrichment is said to be just as important as physical exercise, 5 minutes of mental stimulation equating to 10 minutes of physical activity!
1. Free to Play
There are already activities you can do with your pets at home! One of our favorites is Treat Hide and Seek (see Asher teach you how in this reel!) All you need is a smelly treat to hide around your house/apartment out of view of your pet, and a good wait command!
2. Snuffle Mats
For some “no think, only sniff” fun, snuffle mats are great busywork for your pet! A brand we enjoy is Injoya, with a variety of sizes, textures, and difficulty levels (plus a fishy mat for your cat!), snuffle mats can activate your pet’s foraging instincts and stimulate their senses!
3. Puzzle Toys
“My dog is too smart” you might say. “They need something challenging.” Puzzle toys are great because not only are they made with different levels of difficulty for different types of dogs, but they’re made specifically to get your pet to figure out how to get the reward, unlike the snuffle mat which is more mindless. Outward Hound Nina Ottosson toys come in all shapes and sizes, like this beginner interactive treat toy or this Multipuzzle toy with 4 kinds of puzzles to figure out!
Give these treats and tricks a try and tag us @longdogfatcatshop on instagram to show us your smarty cat (or dog!) As always, give any of our locations a call to see what we have in stock or get suggestions on what else might work for you and your pets. Happy training!