Importance of Enrichment
Enrichment is providing environmental stimulation for our dogs to engage them both physically and mentally. It is providing them with choices and options that they would not have in their day otherwise.
Enrichment is important because it gives our dogs choices to engage in behaviors that we want to see, and can minimize boredom and undesirable behaviors. We provide them with things to keep them busy throughout their day, which can reduce unwanted chewing, barking, food aggression, separation anxiety, and other issues.
Dogs should be given a variety of choices for things to do every day, but ESPECIALLY when they are left unattended for any length of time, or when we place them in a small contained space or crate. Their environments should give them multiple behavioral choices at any given time, and their environments complex and rewarding. Think about how you would feel if you were left in a room with nothing to do, or with the same magazine you have read many times before…
The science of enrichment is incredibly important in zoos, and caregivers strive to provide animals as many natural behavioral choices as possible each day. Our dogs are evolved social creatures with complex behavioral repertoires, and we need to remember not to leave them alone or without anything to do.
Keep enrichment ideas safe: always observe new items first. Watch for your dog eating pieces, sharp edges, or things they could get stuck in their mouths or on their paws. Make sure toys are the correct size for your dog, and made of non-toxic materials. Use healthy treats and alternative food options (like baby carrots!) in toys to keep your pet in good shape.
Visit your favorite pet store to look for new toys, puzzle feeders, or other enriching devices for your furry friends. There are also numerous websites dedicated to creativedo-it-yourself projects at home.
Always remember, your dog only has the choices that YOU give them. Help them be busy and happy dogs!
How to Make an Interactive Feeder or Toy
Click the Learn More button for step by step instructions on how to make this interactive toy for your dogs/ cats enrichment!
10 Easy to Make DIY Dog Toys
Have you been to the pet store recently? If so you probably noticed that dog toys aren’t cheap. Luckily there’s some easy diy dog toys you can make that can be just as fun. Click the learn more to see 10 easy to make DIY Dog Toys!
Ring Dog Toy
Create this two-tone ring dog toy by combining two lengths of the basic 4 strand crown knot. Easily adjust the size and scale of this toy based on the rope or the size of your pet. Click Learn More to see the instructions on how you make your own!