Enrichment Tip: Bringing Nature Inside

Why not bring a little bit of Mother Nature home to your dog?

When you are outside, pick up a few “souvenirs” that your dog might find interesting to smell later. You can put items in containers with holes in the lid if you don’t want your dog to touch the item or mouth it. ┬áIf you want to preserve the scent for a week to a few months, place each souvenir in its own clean container or plastic bag and place in the freezer until you need it. When the winter is long or when the weather is very poor, setting out the souvenirs for your dog to investigate can be a nice indoor activity for your dog. Be sure that the items you collect are safe for your dog to sniff and that you are not violating any laws by removing the items from the area.

This activity takes very little effort if you collect items while on a regularly scheduled dog walk.

Ideas for souvenirs:

  • small rocks
  • sticks
  • leaves
  • a clean paper towel or napkin rubbed on a tree trunk or light post
  • a glove you wore while petting a friend’s healthy pet
  • pine cones
  • a sprig of a plant that is dog safe (herb, weed, garden vegetable, flower)