Animal Welfare Professionals

 View Only
  • 1.  Kennel Enrichment for Dogs

    Posted 07-17-2023 07:49 AM

    I am needing some ideas for enrichment to offer our dogs while they are in the kennel. We are currently have quite a few dogs in isolation who are not able to get as much outside time or walks. We have an enrichment program that incorporates a lot of food/treat based enrichment. I am wanting to offer these dogs enrichment other than just the taste based enrichment they are already receiving. 

    We also do have music playing and I am looking into spraying scents in their kennel areas. 

    Essentially, we have some basic enrichment in place but I am looking to beef it up to help these isolated dogs.

    Any ideas?


    Sarah Reida
    Behavior Department Manager
    Kansas Humane Society
    Wichita KS

  • 2.  RE: Kennel Enrichment for Dogs

    Posted 07-17-2023 08:34 AM

    Sign up for Kong's shelter program.   They used to offer "seconds"  for a buck or two through Kong Cares, which was fantastic for a washable, durable toy that could be stuffed with fun stuff (and even frozen on hot days).   I think it's changed to an occasional donation-based program.  Sign up for their Kong Believer program for shelters to see what offers they send:

    Maggie Thomas
    Red Stick German Shepherd Rescue

  • 3.  RE: Kennel Enrichment for Dogs

    Posted 27 days ago

    Our Rescuse signed up for the Kong Believers program but can figure out how to order kongs or other items for our rescue. Can you provide any help with this?


    Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan volunteer

    Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan

  • 4.  RE: Kennel Enrichment for Dogs

    Posted 07-17-2023 09:23 AM


    Here are a couple of my favorite enrichment resources shared in the forum's Behavior/Training - Dog: SOPs/Shelter Materials folder in the resource library. Be sure to check out that folder if you haven't already. There are some excellent resources!

    Hopefully others will share more ideas on this post. Good luck!

    Kim Domerofski (she/her)
    Community Manager
    Maddie's Fund

  • 5.  RE: Kennel Enrichment for Dogs

    Posted 08-14-2023 01:42 PM

    We typically will use Kong's stuffed with food or treats (Sometimes frozen to last longer and help them cool down), we also use Frisbee's by using a hole puncher to put a small hole in it and zip tying a clip to it so we can clip it to the kennels(you can also freeze these on warm days). As for Dogs who typically can't have certain foods, like dogs on  Z/d, C/d diets and food allergies, we try to let them outside a little more often, even if its just to the outside kennels. We try to give all of our dogs at least 2-3 toys in the kennels, usually a rubber toy, a Nyla Bone, and a stuffed toy for the day but we usually take stuffed toys out at night since we can't watch them then. If you have a power chewer that can't have the general softer rubber toys I'd recommend black rubber Kong toys, as they are the toughest rubber Kong makes toys with and they make more than the standard Kong stuffer as well. Which, Kong stuffers can be even given without food in them as well to provide enrichment. We also have little noise machines with pre-recorded noises to help the dogs settle (kind of like white noise to help people sleep)

    As for sprays, we only use Adaptil, its a pheromone spray that can help to calm down particularly stressed dogs and puppies who were separated from their mothers. There is a cat version called Feliway as well that does the same thing. They both have a wall plug-in diffuser option as well

    Aside from that we have our Volunteers that take our higher energy dogs on walks or hikes. 

    Ky Crawford
    Animal Care Attendant
    Little Traverse Bay Humane Society

  • 6.  RE: Kennel Enrichment for Dogs

    Posted 27 days ago

    Have you done the Kong education classes free to sign up on Kong website 1 class today could win a Kong basket for attending some good ideas shared.

    Cindy Wilde

  • 7.  RE: Kennel Enrichment for Dogs

    Posted 27 days ago

    I received an email today for it and I am signed up for it :) Do you know if there is a way to order discounted items from the Kong Believer program? or is this just random donations that they send out from the new program?

    Thank you,


    Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan

  • 8.  RE: Kennel Enrichment for Dogs

    Posted 27 days ago

    We use several different things in the kennels for enrichment.   

    Each morning we provide breakfast in a different way: 

    • in paper bags or  in boxes (both of these allow species-typical behavior of shredding and tearing),
    • we make frozen breakfasts of kibble, a bit of canned food, and water.  This is mixed together and frozen in large empty yogurt containers which are then emptied out in the kennel (think of dumping sand out of a bucket to make a sand castle.
    • kibble in  PVC tubes that have holes cut out so the dogs must figure out how to roll them so that the food falls out.
    • kibble in Snuffle mats

    There is also a "scent of the day" that we spray at naptime (we turn off the lights and play music for an hour every day).  

    We also provide an afternoon enrichment each day such as

    • towels from the cat condos (clean and no contagions) 
    • blowing bubbles,
    • paper towel tubes with treats and packing paper inside,
    • cream cheese smeared on the kennel wall for a "licky wall".  We also have hard power chewer toys with grooves that we can put cream cheese on for a licking and a chewing opportunity
    • Peanut butter jars that are mostly empty
    • stuffed, frozen kongs

    I hope some of these idea work for you!

    Peggy Kolar
    Volunteer trainer
    Naperville area humane society

  • 9.  RE: Kennel Enrichment for Dogs

    Posted 27 days ago

    Do you have helpful hints on getting peanut butter out of the Kongs?  Also, what toys do you use for the power chewers?  Thanks 

    Beth Adcock
    Brookhaven Animal Rescue League