Shelter life is B-U-S-Y! We get it. It seems impossible to add another item to your daily to-do list. Take heart! Enrichment can be simple, fast, and inexpensive. Remember, even the smallest changes make a big difference.

marcia tiersky interns june 2017 1
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Source: Marcia Tiersky for Animal Farm Foundation

Make the commitment to your dogs. Then reach out for support. You’ll find volunteers who want to do hands-on work, donors who will purchase items from your wish lists, and foster homes who will give dogs a temporary break.

But you don’t even need donors to purchase items for you. You have plenty of enrichment tools at your fingertips!

Here are three simple ideas for keeping the dogs in your care so happy they’ll want to cover you with kisses:


Fill an empty bucket or small pail with things to do, smell, and taste –  even the dog’s meal. Pack each item very tightly so that it will be challenging for the dog to remove them. Some ideas for bucket items: a stuffed Kong, a beef-broth soaked rag, a ball, a Nylabone, a water bottle or PVC pipe with a few treats, etc…

Keep Your Dogs Happy with Busy Buckets

Busy buckets are the perfect enrichment tool for any dog. Here's how you put one together:Fill a small pail with interesting things for your dog to do. Include things that stimulate their sense of touch, taste, and smell. You can even put some food in the bucket. Tightly pack each item tightly into the bucket so that it will be a challenge for your dog to get them out of the bucket. You don't want this to be an easy puzzle to solve!Some ideas for bucket items:- A stuffed Kong- A beef-broth soaked rag,- Balls – Nylabone – A water bottle or PVC pipe with a few treatsThe more fun you have putting this together, the more fun your pup will have playing with it!(P.S. the dog who is solving this puzzle of a bucket is named Sherlock! We're sure he's using his powers of deduction to get out all of the goodies!)

Posted by Animal Farm Foundation on Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Collect empty toilet paper rolls, cereal boxes, pasta boxes and other old boxes and layer them one inside the other. In between each box, place tasty treats and kibble. Some dogs really enjoy shredding items in their kennels.  Busy boxes are a cheap and easy enrichment tool that your volunteers can create and your dogs can enjoy.

Posted by Austin Animal Center on Wednesday, January 4, 2017

ICE TREATS: You can make these in large buckets or old milk jugs that have been cut in half, cups, ice cube trays, Dixie cups, or other containers. Choose a size that suits your dogs’ needs. Depending on the size you choose, you can use this tool to feed an individual meal or even an entire day’s food, so keep portions in mind.

Need more tips? We’ve got ’em!

Share This

Share this post with your friends!