The concept of environmental enrichment grew from a need to give zoo animals a more stimulating place to live. Being cooped up all day in an enclosure with nothing exciting in it can create behavioral problems for zoo animals and pets alike. Luckily, environmental enrichment is a concept that can easily be adapted to make life more interesting for bored cats and dogs.
Keep in mind that for the enrichment to be effective, your pet must engage in and enjoy the activity. Watch the video below to learn more.
How Do I Start?
We give our pets food, shelter, vet care, and, of course, love. Providing environmental enrichment helps stimulate their minds and exercise their bodies. In general, it improves their overall mental health and relieves the boredom that can result in bad behavior.
Since dogs experience many of the emotions that we do, if they look bored, they probably are. Spice up their lives by giving them something new and exciting to do. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just creative, simple, and safe. When you give your pets a chance to use their instincts, they are happier in mind and body.
What Types of Enrichment Are There?
Think about their instincts to develop fun games for your dog. Techniques used for enrichment generally fall into five categories:
- Food-based enrichment – hiding food for your cat or dog to find.
- Sensory enrichment—create a space where your cat can observe the outdoors.
- New objects – let your pet play with empty paper bags or cardboard boxes.
- Social enrichment – play with your pets or supervise them playing together.
- Positive training – teach your dog or cat tricks using treats and positive training methods.
Pets like regular routines. They like to know what’s coming next. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t mix it up sometimes. Adding something different to the mix makes life interesting for them and you. It also helps create a bond between you and your pet.