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a good tool to use in the home
Enrichment can be used to improve a dog’s quality of life and their welfare. We use enrichment a lot in kennels, however it is also a good tool to use in the home to help keep your dog busy, happy and even distracted when facing a potential stressor.
The idea behind enrichment is to provide something different for the dog in their everyday life and in doing so, encourages them to use their brain. This can be achieved by stimulating your dog’s senses in new and different ways.
Whilst stimulating your dog can be good for their mental health, some dogs may find certain stimuli stressful or scary. Understanding how your dog is feeling is important to help ensure they do not feel frustrated and uncomfortable as this can lead to behaviour issues.
Below are various suggestions to explore with your pet to see what works best for each individual. Give your dog time to puzzle the enrichment out for themselves but also be aware of signs of frustration.
- Put the radio on and change the channel regularly
- Use YouTube to play videos of different sounds such as farm animals, nature sounds and children
- Different T.V channels to the normal
- Recordings of your voice reading them a story
- Relaxing sounds like meditation
- Sounds of different frequencies
- Take your dog on a different walk than their normal walk
- TV programs
- New people
- Bright coloured objects
- Giving them new toys
- Providing them with different levels to see things
- Camouflage toys
- Lure pole
- New bedding
- Paddling pool
- Rugs of different textures
- New toys with different textures
- Balance cushion
- Woodland textures- sticks, leaves etc
- Bath mats
- New food
- Pet-safe essential oils are diluted and put on a piece of cloth
- Farm smells
- Other animal smells
- Take your dog for a new walk somewhere different
- Owner’s own perfume and spays (be aware of toxicity. Always research).
- Cooked food
- Pet-safe flowers and plants
- Male and female smells
- Scent games
- Pet safe herbs
- New food
- Interactive food toys
- Kong toys (classic, bone, ball, wobbler)
- Licki matts
- Snuffle mat
- Treat ball
- Electronic treat dispenser
- Activity mat
- Puzzle feeders
- Frozen food- frozen dinner, ice lollies, ice cubes (Not during heat stroke).