Shoot a Note To

sandy mcpadden behavior consulting 




The Buzz on Enrichment

Come and learn how to spice up your pets life! Follow The Buzz on Enrichment for great DIY enrichment for the animals in your world. 


Filtering by Tag: dog enrichment

Kong Stuffers made with HEART

sandy mcpadden


Organ meat. 

The thought of eating it makes me want to gag. Even after saying that, and I am pretty sure that I will get comments telling me that I should eat them. {I won't}

For the dogs (and cats!), though, these little organs can pack a punch, nutritionally. Their odor can too, when they're dehydrating. 

When I am in the dehydrating mood, I pull out a few things at a time. This week I dried Beef liver, chicken gizzards and hearts, sweet potato and green beans. 

Playing the stocking stuffer game is pretty simple if you're using your dehydrator. 

Here what you'll need:

  • Beef Liver
  • Chicken Gizzards & Hearts
  • Green Beens
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Dehydrator
  • Mason Jars
  • A WWII gas mask to prevent you from vomiting when you smell organs drying in your house

Rinse all of your goods before preparing. Cut the liver and sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices. This makes the final width easy enough to break in Kong stuff-able sizes. Some blank the sweet potatoes first, I do not and maybe thats why mine are really dull in appearance. 

I dehydrated the meats together and the veggies together. 

Miss Addie was obviously in love. As the taste tester, you get the good and the bad. She got off easy today. 

These make great stocking stuffers for your dogs and cats, but they're a wonderful gesture for friends of the fury variety as well. 

A cute Ball Mason Jar with a touch of raffia makes a for a healthy homemade gift with heart. Get it? A gift with HEART? 



Smell Ya Later

sandy mcpadden

There is officially a "hive" now

When I started this blog, my goal was to get regular people (not just the crazies like me) involved in animal enrichment. I would LOVE to see every person I know (and don't, whatever) to do what they can to better the lives of the animals around them. 

I want this to be a community of badass, dedicated, compassionate people. A hive if you will, of people who are changing what the norm of animal care looks like. 

Penny and Sally

Penny and Sally

Anyways. THIS post isn't even my brain baby, its Anns! Ann emailed me earlier this week and said something to the effect of "you post too much shit about Ellie, post something about dogs. I made my dogs a foraging game. Is it going to kill them?" JUUUUUUST kidding. Kind of. She did email me, but she emailed me telling me about what she had done with her Penny and Sally after seeing some foraging ideas for other animals here on The Buzz on Enrichment and I asked her for photos so I could share! Olfactory enrichment for your pooch! 

Here's what you need:

  • Banana
  • Cardboard egg carton
  • Knife

You can  put whatever your little heart desires in the egg carton, but bananas are awesome and my dogs can hear one crack open from across the house. This foraging activity for dogs is brilliant for introducing fido to using their nose to find goodies. 

Divvy out the banana in a few egg carton sections and decorate the back yard! 

We're still teaching your dog to use his nose so keep it simple! 


As usual, lovely people of the inter webs...please keep a close eye on everyone when delivering enrichment! 

Stuff Me Madly

sandy mcpadden

Im running away to Chicago-Land and Im going petless. I had to interview pet sitters and I am pretty sure half of this town now thinks I'm mad. Whatever.

As per the norm, when I go away for longer than usual the animals get little surprises. I picked up a couple of new toys because I feel extra guilty for leaving and knowing that I am going to have SO much fun. (Hello, Shedd Aquarium, I will be all up in you this week) Im a HUGE fan, like most trainers and behaviorists, of stuff able toys. I am NOT a huge fan, though, of the fillers spooning  them on the shelf. 

Kong is a leader in canine foraging toys. The new designs are way fun and offer plenty of variation for a variety of dogs. JW is another company that I find different foraging toys from. Their rubber is a lot softer than a majority of Kongs, so parents of aggressive chewers beware. 

So, what do I stuff with?

Today it was:

  • Bananas
  • carrots

If you crack a banana open in my house, you will have 3 dog noses pointed your directing in 23 seconds. Ellie will draw blood for a bite of your banana. For sure. No need to get all fancy every time you stuff. I see recipes for some radical dog toy stuffings. Just grab a banana and a knife, cut a few slices and shmoosh it right on in. 

Carrots are even easier. My dogs know the difference between a carrot on the cutting board... and anything else on the cutting board. Again, lots of dog in your face. 


The goal for these toys is to encourage foraging behaviors. I will be super bummed if it takes my dogs 2 licks to be through a toy that could potentially be savored for 10 minutes. Easiest way to increase time spent on one of the bad boys? Freeze them. 

My freezer always has a stash of goodies, like Ellies shrimp! What do YOU stuff with?