Five Positive Enrichment Tips to Try at Home With Your Pets
Enrichment can be defined as the process of providing animals with some form of stimulation in order to encourage natural behaviors, which helps to improve or maintain their physical and mental health. There are many ways that this can be done, however since enrichment is geared towards helping the animal, you need to make sure that your pet is enjoying the enrichment that you are giving them.
1. Scatter feeding. This can be done by taking your dog’s regular meal out of the bowl, and scattering it across a room, or in an outdoor space like a yard. Allowing the dog to sniff out their food stimulates their olfactory sense, and allows the dog to engage their instinctual scavenger behavior!
2. Muffin Tin game. Using just a muffin tin, tennis balls, and some delicious smelly food. This game can be done by placing yummy treats at the bottom of the muffin tin, and covering each reward with a tennis ball. The dog must then use problem solving skills to find the food! Remember the goal is for the dog to enjoy this activity, so if they decide to play with the tennis balls instead of finding the food — let them!
3. Sniffari walk. Take your dog out on a fun and new type of walk! Using a longer leash (10ft+), take your dog out on a walk and allow them to sniff all of the smells that the world offers them. With safety in mind, allow your dog to decide which way to go, and if they want to stop to take in the smells, let them! This fun activity stimulates the dog’s olfactory sense, and builds the bond with your dog by allowing them the freedom of choice.
4. Kitty Cat Cardboard City. We all know that cats love boxes, but with a little bit of effort, we can step this enjoyment up a notch. With multiple boxes, some tape and a pair of scissors, tap into your creative side and build your kitty a fun hangout. From a castle, to a racetrack, to a three-story condo, the possibilities are as endless as your imagination, and your kitty will love it!
5. Frozen treat. Take your pet’s meal, and add some chicken or beef broth, then throw it in the freezer. Once frozen, your pet will have to work to lick and enjoy their frozen tasty treat!