November 12th is Animal Enrichment Day. This is important for all animals, and is especially critical for dogs. Enrichment plays a huge role in your pup’s mental and emotional well-being, which in turn greatly affect his physical health. Bored pooches are much more likely to engage in destructive behavior, such as digging, chewing, eating the couch, and even aggression. Here, a Greater Cincinnati vet lists some ‘pawesome’ ways to provide your canine pal with enrichment.
Taking Fido for a stroll is important for sanitary reasons, but there’s much more to it than that. Fido gets a lot of information from sniffing and smelling things on those daily strolls. That offers sensory enrichment and a much-needed change of scenery.
Toys fulfill a variety of needs for our canine companions: they occupy Fido, give him something to chew, indulge his need to chase things, and sometimes just comfort him. Offer a variety of fun playthings, and change them out regularly. It’s also important to play with your pup regularly.
It’s not surprising that treat-dispensing toys are so popular with dogs: they combine Fido’s two favorite things (food and playing). Provide things like Kong toys and other food-related playthings.
Does your canine pal stay home alone while you go to work? Consider making his alone time better by leaving a radio on for him. This is particularly helpful for soothing anxious dogs. In fact, many shelters have programs for people to read to the pups in kennels. This has proven to be very helpful at calming the poor pooches.
Many dogs really enjoy learning new things. This isn’t only a matter of petiquette: Fido has to concentrate to pick up new commands. Basic obedience training is a must for any pooch. However, once your pet has that mastered, you can move on to trick training or perhaps agility training.
It’s really good for Fido to be able to interact with others that ‘speak’ his language. Assuming that your furry pal is friendly and well-behaved, carve out time for puppy playdates. Dog parks can also be fun. Just be on the lookout for any aggressive or unruly dogs.
You can also make your place more fun and stimulating for Fido. If you have a yard, add some fun features for your pooch, such as kiddie pools, sandboxes, and outdoor toys. Tail wags guaranteed!
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