There are loads of reasons you might find yourself needing to give your dog more things to do indoors to keep them occupied. Giving them something to get them thinking and sniffing can keep them busy for a long time (a plus for you) and be a lot of fun for them.
I’ve been spending more time working from home recently, which means my foster Boxer, TJ, needs a lot of entertaining while I’m on conference calls or my attention needs to be elsewhere.
This is TJ:
TJ is a Boxer we foster from a local rehoming centre. He’s 10 and has a few medical issues (as is common with the breed – if you’re thinking of getting one, please do plenty of research first!), which means that often running around outside is out of the question.
So to make sure he’s getting enough stimulation but not exerting himself too much, a destruction box is perfect to keep him occupied. They aren't the best toy if your dog is prone to eating things, though (that's a lot of paper...) and it's best to keep an eye on your dog while they're playing with their destruction box just in case.
Destruction boxes are super quick and easy to make using bits and pieces from around the home. Follow my easy how-to below!
You will need:
- A box – ideally something big enough for your dog to have a good root around in.
- Scrap paper – this could be newspaper or anything you have at home really. It's best not to use junk mail or leaflets, though, as the glossy coating can glue their mouth shut.
- Scissors – for shredding if, like me, you don’t have a shredder. You could also just rip it up.
- Toys – one or two of your dog’s favourites. TJ is crazy for tennis balls so we bought him larger ones he can’t swallow.
- Treats – a few of your dog’s favourite treats, or a mixture of treats and their usual biscuits. Remember to take this into account when you measure out your dog’s daily allowance so you don’t give them too much! You can even buy PDSA treats online.
Step one: shred the paper
You’ll want lots of strips of your scrap paper to fill your box! You can cut (like I did), rip or use a shredder for this. Set aside a few pieces of scrap paper for step two.
Step two: scrunch the paper
With the few sheets you set aside, scrunch them up. You can even pop a treat in them then scrunch to add to the game for your dog.
If you’d prefer, you can skip the shredding and just use scrunched up bits of paper if it’s easier.
Step three: fill your box
Put all your bits of paper in the box and hide the toys in there. Make sure they’re well buried, then scatter the treats/biscuits over.
Give to your dog and watch them enjoy!
You’re all done! That’s one destruction box complete (told you it wouldn’t take long!). TJ tested ours out and, well, got a bit confused as to the purpose. He spent the first few minutes pushing it around with his head, but got there eventually.
Let us know if you’ve had a go at making your own on our social channels!