Your dog’s environment can profoundly impact their mood and wellness more than you might think. When your pup is in an enriching space that benefits their physical, emotional, and mental health, their wellbeing can skyrocket. On the contrary, a dull or unpredictable environment that doesn’t offer enough stimuli or activity can lead to boredom and outbursts of unwanted behavior. So, how can you achieve the ideal setting? Dogtopia has teamed up with KONG to put together tips to help you create an enriching indoor environment where your pup can thrive.


Obstacle courses are a fun way to simultaneously stimulate your dog’s mind and body. Plus, they don’t have to be intricate to be effective. Using everyday items you have around your home, such as sturdy chairs, boxes, or even your staircase (if it’s not slippery), can create a route for your dog that will have them weaving, jumping, and jogging through the course so their body stays moving and their tail wagging. You can also add tricks your pup has been practicing, such as sitting or rolling over, as part of the route. This can help heighten their attention and focus and create an energizing game that benefits them mentally and physically.

Dog trainer Geralynn Cada, featured in the KONG Classroom series, highlights how an indoor obstacle course can be a great addition to your dog’s day. As you devise your route, Geralynn recommends changing up the tricks you have your pup perform to create a sense of randomness that will keep them mentally stimulated.

At Dogtopia, we’re big on boosting our daycare pups’ activity levels, strengthening their muscles, and improving their balance through agility-focused games. Our indoor playrooms include secure play structures like ramps, planks, and climbers, as well as tunnels, hurdles, and hoops that can combine to create an obstacle course route guided by our professionally trained Canine Coaches.


We know that our mental health is just as important as our physical health, and that also rings true for our furry companions. However, as some pet parents can attest, keeping their dog mentally stimulated can take time and effort, especially when it comes to keeping their pup focused for long bursts of time. That’s where treat puzzles can come in handy.

Your dog’s favorite treat is often a good motivator for them to engage in mentally stimulating games, which is why these types of puzzles and other mentally enriching toys can be big hits added to your pup’s environment. Toys that make dogs tap into their problem-solving skills can improve their focus, curb boredom, and reduce anxiety and stress. It’s also a significant confidence booster when they complete the task and are rewarded with treats.

KONG has several toys that will have your dog sniffing for and retrieving treats while remaining mentally engaged. For example, the KONG Gyro, KONG Flipz, KONG Rewards Tinker, KONG Wobbler™, KONG Goodie Ribbon, and the KONG Classic are all great options to keep pups mentally captivated, further developing their attention span and ability to concentrate. Having a couple of toy options to keep on rotation can help ensure your dog does not get used to the task, which can keep their mind sharp.

During our daycare dogs’ day at Dogtopia, our team uses KONGs and toys like treat puzzles and snuffle mats for mental stimulation. Engaging in different activities at daycare is a great way to see what your pup enjoys so you can replicate it at home.


While mentally enriching toys with added treats can be a great activity for your pup to enjoy at any point in the day, enrichment feeders dedicated to mealtimes can make feedings extra enriching.

As Jennifer Malawey, Dog Trainer and Behavior Counselor, explains in the KONG Classroom series, feeding your dog with an enrichment feeder, such as a food puzzle, can lead to positive behavior in the home and helps slow down mealtime to aid in digestion, which is ideal if your pup is prone to consuming their food too quickly.

The KONG Rewards Wally is an excellent slow feeder that can hold up to one cup of dog kibble, while the KONG Licks Spinz’ can be a great option if you use wet food, as it offers different textures and the ability to rotate the disc to encourage interaction. Both are ideal alternatives to food bowls and will keep your pup engaged.

Dog eating from enrichment feeder by KONG


Training is a triple whammy when it comes to doggy wellness. It provides mental stimulation, as they learn how to perform certain tricks; physical activity, especially if they engage in agility training; and emotional health, as pups build confidence with every trick and behavior they master. Training practice can begin at home and lead to an enriching environment where your dog learns and displays positive behavior throughout the day.

We understand training takes time and research, so KONG has put together some fun training tips you can quickly start with:

  • Find it: Hide some kibble or treats in easy-to-find spots around your home and ask your pup to find it (you can help them). Once they do, say “found it” and give them praise. The tail will be wagging!
  • Drop it: This is like a classic game of fetch with a yummy treat twist. With your dog sitting in front of you, throw a toy for them to catch. As they come back with their toy in their mouth, place a treat over their nose and say, “drop it.” Once they drop the toy, give them the treat, pick the toy up, and repeat the process. This technique is a great way to encourage responses and is an especially helpful command if they are prone to picking up unwanted items.
  • Go to mat: You can enlist the help of a KONG toy for this one! Holding one of your dog’s favorite treats, tell your pup to “go to mat” by swinging your arm in the direction of their bed or crate, and, as you do, throw the treat there. When your pup obeys, do a “down” command and give them an additional treat. To repeat the process, throw a treat far enough away from their bed and tell them to get it. Once they do, perform the same actions you just did to have your pup go to their bed. When they have this series of actions down, swap the treat they enjoy at their bed with a KONG. Over time, increase the distance from their bed. This training exercise can be beneficial when you need to keep your pup in a secure place, such as if you have company coming over, and a KONG can keep them engaged for extended periods.

When your pup enrolls in daycare at Dogtopia, our team will practice simple commands to provide the skills they can bring back home. For example, name recall and door control are two of the most common training techniques we practice in our playrooms, and we use learning through play to make the entire experience fun. We pride ourselves on creating an enriching environment for your furry friend and we hope these tips help you enhance their space at home, in between their days of dog daycare.

By providing a space for your dog to learn and stay mentally and physically active, you can improve their behavior and overall wellbeing, helping them become an even greater canine citizen. For more information about Dogtopia’s indoor enrichment, find your nearest location.