No Free Food For Cooper

This is our puppy, Cooper (at the front), playing with his friend Clover. He is just a ball of energy and several times over our weekend together one or both dogs had to be put in a crate to give the other a rest.

Puppies have so much energy, but you can't walk them miles to exhaust them. Apparently it's bad for them. This is where the 'no free food' method comes in - you make them work mentally for their food and they find it exhausting; much more so than a long walk.

For a kibble-fed dog it's easy. You simply measure out his daily food ration and use it for training (instead of expensive dog treats) and any excess is stuffed in a kong or other such treat dispensing toy.

For a raw fed dog it's not quite so easy. We do dehydrate meat and offal to make little training treats, but the majority of his meals are fed in their raw state.

I have however, come up with a cunning technique for meals that don't have bone (I feel like a rabbit carcass or chicken back provides quite the workout anyway as he negotiates how to crunch through those bones).

Meet the Holee Roller at £4 it's my favourite, budget friendly, dog accessory:

 Actually this is a Holee Roller with a cheap squeaky ball from pets at home in it. They had squeaky balls very cheap, and Cooper loves them, but he gets the squeaker out very quickly. Stuff it in the holee roller though, and we have hours of entertainment as he tries to get it out. The roller squishes easily, so standing on it still allows him to make it squeak, but the holes are too small for a puppy nose to get right in and grab the ball out. 
Back to food though, so today Cooper was having some chicken that didn't have any bones. I sliced it into chunks and wrapped it in two different fabrics (fleece and jersey - just scraps from my sewing projects, but nice because they are easily washable/replaceable). The textures add an extra sensory interest. 

Then stuff all those little 'parcels' in the roller with the squeaky ball...

and it's time to let the puppy play!

It's very difficult to get a shot that isn't blurred because he loves it so much. In this picture he is literally pouncing with joy on the parcel he managed to get out.

Average feed time for one chicken breast  < 1 minute
Time in the Holee Roller 15 minutes
Time puppy until puppy slept after meal 10 minutes



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