Welcome to Day 81 of #100daysofenrichment and thank you for joining us on this journey!
Although our challenges are directed mainly at dogs, we want all species to enjoy and benefit from #100daysofenrichment so, please join in, adjust and adapt to help your pet or companion live a more enriched life.
Bringing the Smellside Inside!
In preparation for today, I asked you to collect smells, cook them a little, and present to your pet today.
The beauty of this is that you collect smells from places that you don’t bring your dog so that the dog gets to experience a little of your dogless world, adding interest and novelty to their experience too.
This is really a Sniffing Saturday challenge, but I ran out of Saturdays on our #100day project, so we going to do it midweek instead!
Last Sniffing Saturday, Day 76, we had a Sniffari and today we are offering a version of that. If you haven’t cooked your cloths, try a Sniffari today with your dog instead.
Bring a cloth with you to all the places you go without your dog, over a few days. You could use small pieces of face cloth, toweling, or even kitchen roll, although anything paper/disposable, may disintegrate if your dog does a lot of sniffing or licking of it.
While out, wipe the cloth onto an area that’s likely to have interesting olfactory transfer. These will be places that are not terribly hygienic (!) such as steps or stairs, door handles, car bumpers or tyres.
You might also use clothing, socks or shoes that you wore while out and about; you have probably already noticed that your dog gives you a once-over when you come back home!
If you wish, you can add some herbs, spices or safe essential oils (don’t confuse “natural” for safe) – if in doubt consult your vet.
But, these tend to be very strong smelling to dogs, overwhelming their olfactory organs. Use a teeny amount (no more than two drops), on a cloth and put that into a container, with a small hole in the lid. Your dog’s nose should not make contact with the substance.
Lavender oil or peppermint oil are good starters, with many dogs showing curiosity and sniffing them when presented safely.
Once you have collected some scent, pop the cloth into a sealable bag, lunchbox or tin. Have each cloth/scent in an individual storage container.
Store your ‘cooking’ scents somewhere cool and out of nose range from your dog – so in a room that your dog doesn’t really enter, such as the bathroom.
When you have a collection of 3-5 scents, set up a course for your dog. Lay each cloth or container on the floor, ideally indoors, with plenty of space between each cloth.
Set up the sniffing course while your dog is in another room.
Release your dog and allow him to check out each cloth; they might dismiss some but be engaged with others.
If you are collecting data, you might note which scents really catch your dog’s nose.
As always, allow your dog to spend as long as he likes sniffing. If you are concerned about your dog ingesting a cloth, present cloths in containers with holds in the lid and/or work your dog on lead.
Have some HIGH value treats in your pocket and throw them toward your dog, across his eyeline, if you are worried he will eat something he shouldn’t.
When your dog is done, you can dispose of or wash your cloths and start all over again!
Now it’s your turn. Show us what you and your pets, of any species, can do with these challenges!
Post to your social media accounts, using the #100daysofenrichment so that we can find you and join our Facebook group to share your experiences, ideas and fun!
You can comment right here too 🙂
We look forward to hearing from you and your pets – have fun & brain games!