How to Provide Enrichment for Your Puppy and Dog How to Provide Enrichment for Your Puppy and Dog

Posted by Emma Oldroyd, on

How to Provide Enrichment for Your Puppy and Dog

Teaming enrichment with exercise will help keep your puppy or dog both mentally and physically stimulates. So, our pet experts and put together a short guide on how to provide your dog with enrichment- and the best products to use!

What is puppy enrichment?

Enrichment helps your dog hone their natural instincts. By providing your dog with daily enrichment activities, you help prevent boredom, help them build their confidence (especially from a pup) and allow them to practise a range of useful skills including problem solving.

Enrichment is especially good for puppies, so they are learning as they grow. Daily enrichment can help prevent unwanted behaviours such as chewing or mouthing- and can help calm them down when they get over excited.

How do I provide puppy enrichment?

There are many different types of enrichment, and you can use all of them on your puppy or dog- they may choose their favourite activities as they perform them regularly, and eventually naturally pick up their snuggle toys or bring you a rope to play tug when they want to.

Food based enrichment

It’s highly likely that food-based enrichment will become your puppy or dog’s favourite activity. Adding treats to Lickimats or puzzle feeders are a great source of enrichment, encouraging your dog to problem solve and sniff their way through tasks.

We love the Pet Remedy boredom buster for hiding treats, these also make great occupiers during firework season!

We would always recommend using low calorie treats as part of your dog’s enrichment which complement their regular diet. Always supervise your dog when using enrichment toys.

Scent based enrichment

Scent-based enrichment is fun both indoors and outdoors. Sniffing is part of your dog’s natural behaviour so giving them plenty of opportunity to sniff around the house, or whilst out on walks will hone their senses and enable them to learn about the different environments they come across.

Remember, some smells aren’t safe for dogs- watch out for plants and trees which can pose a danger to your dog and ensure they don’t go sniffing up the wrong tree!

Toy based enrichment

Introducing a wide range of toys as soon as your puppy comes home is a great way to help them hone different skills and help build your bond. Different toys provide different types of enrichment, so whilst it may seem overkill at first, ensuring your dog has a squeaky toy, soft toy, pull toy and ball gives them both choice and opportunity.

Keep things interesting by rotating their toys on a regular basis too!

Our top tip for toy-based enrichment is to… let your dog win a few! Your dog will get enjoyment from taking it in turns to win games.

Environment based enrichment

Explore! Once your puppy is safe to venture outside, taking them to new and exciting places with different ground textures, smells and sounds will keep them mentally stimulated and allow them to familiarise themselves with different environments.

Check out your nearest dog-friendly beach for a paddle, or adventure on a local hiking path. Our Ruffwear Go Guide has some great suggestions for exploring with your dog.

Remember, if you’re out for the day, to take plenty of water and treats for your dog. We would also recommend a dog coat or dog towel for colder/wetter days!


If you train your puppy from the moment they come home with you, this will provide plenty of enrichment for them. You can view our guide to training your puppy online for ideas and recommendations for training. 

Looking for more ideas? Speak to our dog experts on store or via our Pets Chat system for suitable enrichment toys and products for your dog or puppy.