Cheap Enrichment Ideas

Trying to find ways to enrich your dog’s life can seem difficult or expensive. There are tons of different toys or slow feeders on the market that you could spend a lot of money on trying to find something your dog likes. The good news is that often our dogs are just as happy playing with our garbage.

Now I don’t mean just any garbage. We don’t want our dogs playing with old banana peals. There are some simple things that most humans have and throw away that can be turned into toys. Here a list of some things you should save.

Some example Items
  • Empty paper towel rolls
  • Empty towel paper rolls
  • Empty tissue boxes
  • Empty amazon boxes
  • Cardboard beer carriers
  • Any old carboard boxes
  • Empty water bottles

You can turn all of these things into treat dispensing toys to use at meal times or when you just need a quiet moment.

Luna destroying boxes and ignoring the food she spilled everywhere.
An plastic treat bucket that was empty. We drilled hole into it and let Luna roll it around.

Some dogs will get into it right away but other dogs will need help to get started. You can make the game easier or harder depending on how your dog is doing.

Cardboard Box ideas (From easy to hard)

  • Open cardboard box with food in it
  • Upside down cardboard box covering food on the floor
  • Slightly closed cardboard box with food in it
  • Closed cardboard box with holes punched in it
  • Completely closed cardboard box with no holes
  • Completely closed cardboard box with food wrapped in paper towels
  • Closed cardboard box with another slightly closed cardboard box in it
  • Nesting multiple closed cardboard boxes within each other

Paper towel roll ideas (From easy to hard)

  • Paper towel roll with food inside
  • Tuck one end of the paper towel roll closed
  • Close both ends of the paper towel roll and poke holes in it
  • Close both ends of the paper towel roll no holes
  • Wrap the treats in paper towels and put them in the paper towel roll
  • Put the paper towel roll in a box

Make sure you supervise your dog while they play with the toy to make sure they do not ingest parts of the toy.

Get creative! Come up with fun activities for your dogs with stuff you already had lying around the house.

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