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New, Mentally Stimulating Ways to Feed Your Dog!

Feed Your Dog Tips to Make It More FunPeople are slowly becoming more aware that dogs need mental stimulation as part of their everyday lives as well as physical exercise.

Mental stimulation is a type of thinking stimulation and includes things like problem solving, using their senses i.e. sniffing and co-ordination. The wild dogs use their mental energy by just surviving, for example sniffing out and hunting for food as well as avoiding any dangers that might be present. When we share a home with our dogs, we provide their food for them and protect them from anything that is potentially harmful BUT our dogs still have the need for the mental stimulation. Taking the above into consideration we have replaced what used to be a dog's daily hunt for food to a few minutes each day eating all of their food rations from a bowl. Eating from a bowl uses up no mental stimulation at all. Sometimes the dog may be asked to wait or sit before he eats but most of the time our dog food is chucked into a bowl where the dog scoffs the lot in under five minutes and then he is ready to play again. We could instead be using our dog's food to make our dogs lives so much more interesting and stimulating.

Firstly we could get rid of the dogs food bowl altogether! Instead make the dog use some energy or problem solving skills to work out how to get his meal out of a food toy for example.

This is one of the easiest things we could do. You can even prefer multiple food toys at once so they are ready when they are needed. A great example is the Kong, you could fill one with your dog's food and then let him figure it out, you can even freeze them to make it slightly more challenging for your dog. The Kong wobbler is another great toy if you feed your dog biscuits, it requires your dog to knock it to release the food so not only does this use mental energy but physical energy too! Depending on the type of food that you feed your dog, you could scatter feed. For example you can scatter your dog's food into the grass in the garden for him to sniff out or hide his dog biscuits around the room he eats in for him to find himself. A great toy is a snuffle mat, basically a mat with long pieces of fleece woven into it. You simply hide your dog biscuits among the layers of fleece. A great way to use your dog's food is to use it for training exercises throughout the day. This not only is a good way to mentally stimulate them but also means your dog is getting rewarded regularly for good behaviour! So not only will you have a calmer dog but also a better behaved one. Many people forget to reward their dog throughout the day when they do something we like, for example not begging or settling in their bed. You could use their food as rewards for learning a great new trick.

Be Imaginative!

Use household objects and turn them into food toys. An empty carboard box filled with scrunched up paper, an empty bottle with the lid taken off, or a cardboard egg box filled with the dog's food are just some examples of things you could do. Yes, using a food bowl is quick, convenient and so easy to do. But why waste the opportunity to make our dogs' lives more stimulating. By just being a bit more imaginative in the way we feed our dogs we are able to make food time more interesting, tiring, stimulating and will also slow down any dogs that scoff their food down. Don't feel like you have to use just one of these ideas, you could half your dog's food; half into a puzzle toy and half to be used in training. A dog that is mentally stimulated is less likely to exhibit behaviour problems such as excessive barking, destructiveness and other boredom type behaviour. This just proves that it can really be worth discarding your dog's food bowl. Feel free to share any other ways you have found to feed your dogs! Feed Your Dog and Dog Seat Covers: Cargo, Dog Bed Liner, Bed Cover: 30% Off Premium Seat Covers
Jayde Davey_2Jayde Davey M.ISAP CTDI Jayde Davey M.ISAP CTDI - I am an aspiring dog trainer, supporting positive reinforcement methods. I currently am studying an Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour Management and have just passed my test to become a Certified Trick Dog Instructor. I have my own blogsite with connected social media and I also run a Facebook Dog Trick group where I help people to teach their dog lots of fun tricks. I am a member of ISAP or the International Society for Animal Professionals and also have a diploma in small animal care. I own a deaf Dalmatian called Logan who I do most of my training with; he knows lots of tricks like take my socks off, fetch my a tissue and wipe your feet but I also regularly work with a miniature poodle, a cocker spaniel, a jack Russell and a border collie. I one day hope to become a professional dog trainer. Links: Blog site: Facebook: Twitter: Youtube:


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We liked the first cover so much that a few days later we purchased a second one. The cover installs very, very easily, fits and covers the rear seat and the back of the front seats of our Subaru Tribeca perfectly, has flaps that cover the door-side edges of the rear seat, and stays perfectly in place. Spilled or tracked water beads up on the material and can be easily wiped off. At first our dog did tend to slide just a little on the new cover, but he soon learned to stand, sit, and lay just as well as he did before on the uncovered seat. The hammock portion seems like it might provide some little bit of protection in a sudden stop (our guy will chew apart any "doggie seat belt" type of restraint in very short order - so that option is out of the question for us). As to keeping him out of the car front-area - well, our long-legged Standard Poodle has no problem in still looking closely out the front windshield by putting his front feet on the center console - straddling the hammock - with no problem whatsoever. But we did discover that having the hammock in place does allow us to safely keep his water bottle and dish, his leash, and an old towel on the floor under the hammock - where he can no longer get at them (especially the leash and towel) to chew on them. All in all, an excellent seat cover.


My furbabies don't like leather seats!!!! But they love this seat cover!!!

Very hard to find a split bench seat cover at a reasonable price, this one fit the bill. Easy to install, very durable and looks to be easy to clean. Wanted something that would protect the leather seats and was pet friendly (hate it when the material of regular seat covers snags toenails and collars). I don't think I will have to buy another for many years!!!

Jackie Carter

My Doodle approves!

Received on time, fits great and easy to install. Color is a great match. So far, so good. Durability? Time will tell. It appears to be well constructed.

Donald Fish

Fits my 2018 VW Tiguan perfectly

Very happy with our purchase. Fits perfectly, was easy to install and keeps the leather seats in our brand new vehicle perfectly clean.

Chris Campbell

great cover

This is actually a replacement for my original 4 knines cover which was 4 years old. I used it daily (bringing my pup to work with me) and washed it weekly, so the backing finally started to flake apart and come off. This newer version is easier to put over the headrests, great improvement in the strap and closures. Also the best improvement is the side flaps, the old cover didn't have these. These flaps help to catch the dirt from dogs feet when they are jumping up into the car, instead of it going on the side of the seat.

Diane Breland


This is my 2nd seat cover from 4knines and love them both. The product and service were both fantastic.


Repeat customer VERY satisfied.

We have made several purchases from 4Knines and are VERY satisfied with products (cargo liner, back seat cover, bucket front seat cover...). I volunteer at a shelter and take dogs offsite daily. Always a Pleasure doing business with 4Knines. Highly recommend.

Cristina Jones

Split Rear Dog Seat Cover - Fitted - No Hammock

I had ordered this item from an on-line site and was extremely disappointed when I received the wrong item. I was impressed with the quality of the seat cover and decided to contact 4Knines directly. I placed my order with Maggie and received the Split Rear Dog Seat Cover within three days. The seat cover fits nicely in my new Honda CR-V and as stated by 4Knines, is very easy to install and remove. My 8-month old labradoodle Brodie likes the comfort, and friends agree with him. Great quality item, reasonably priced, and outstanding customer service. Thanks 4Knines.


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