Why enrichment is important for dogsPublished on 27th December 2016
Enrichment is ESSENTIAL to helping promote the wellbeing of your dog
***Keep boredom at bay and help reduce destructive type behaviours***
Enrichment encourages an animal’s natural behaviours, providing different experiences for their senses. It’s essential to providing both mental and physical stimulation and keeping boredom at bay. If you don’t provide enrichment then your dog is more likely to perform undesirable behaviours instead…
Put me in a room, with no TV, no books, sooner or later I will feel like peeling off the wall paper or perhaps even pulling out my hair! But in all seriousness enrichment is a vital part of your dog’s environment, we have a RESPONSIBILITY as owners to seek out and provide opportunities and choices for our dogs. By limiting enrichment we are simply denying the dog these opportunities.
Some simple ways to create these opportunities
? Problem solving interactive toys – a great way to provide mental stimulation. Often, these toys come in the form of puzzles, which hide treats, encouraging your dog to manipulate and investigate the toy.
? Interactive chew toys – my all time favourite is the Kong. Instead of feeding your dog out of a bowl, turn him/her into a chewaholic (learnt this through a vet online chat). Reinforcing this behaviour onto the kong means your best friend is less likely to chew the furniture and is provided with hours of fun.
? Hide and seek – a game of ‘find it’ will motivate your dog to investigate it’s natural surroundings to find a yummy treat. I hide treats behind bushes, under cones or even a small crevice in a tree.
So start enriching today
Enrichment in the form of games, chew toys and activities can have not only proven to lower stress in dogs but encourage them to learn more efficiently. So don’t delay, start enriching today!
Thanks for listening
Helen Motteram, BSc (hons)
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