Bruno with Kong outside

Enrichment: A Powerful Tool for Pet Owners

Enrichment is an important tool in any pet owner’s arsenal. Enrichment engages one or more of your pet’s senses to help fight anxiety and boredom and even build confidence. Enrichment helps wear your pet out and can even minimize unwanted behaviors!

Enrichment comes in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. Enrichment can be mental play, like puzzles, or physical play, like a good game of tug-o-war. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Here are some of our favorites:

Puzzle feeders: Using a puzzle feeder for meal time can promote your pet to use their sense of smell and work a little bit harder for their food. There is a plethora of puzzle feeder options online. You can even make your own! Grab a muffin pan and some tennis balls and hide your pet’s meal underneath the tennis balls.

Nose Work: Hide your pet’s favorite tasty treats around your house and let your furry friend find them!

Busy Boxes: Don’t throw out those cardboard boxes just yet! Turn them into a fun enrichment activity for your pooch. Coat the inside of the box with a thin layer of peanut butter and stick on their favorite treats. Pop the busy box in the freezer for at least 4 hours. Then, let your dog go to town!

Kong Toys: Kong toys are similar to busy boxes. You can stuff them with peanut butter, treats, or sodium-free broth and freeze them. Get creative with your Kong combinations and find out what your pup prefers.

bronk with kong

Bubbles: Pet safe bubbles can be enjoyed by cats and canines alike!

Training Sessions: Teaching your pet new tricks is a great way to get your pet to use its brain and it is a great bonding experience. Start simple with tricks like “sit” and “down”. As your pet learns more tricks you can start teaching more complicated ones like, “roll over” and “speak”.

Remi shake

Appropriate Play: Figure out how your pet likes to play. Does she like soft toys that squeak? What if it makes a crinkle noise? Does she like to chase tennis balls or does she like to play tug with you? After you figure out how your pet likes to play, you can have play sessions together. This also helps you bond with your pet!

Check out some other resources on enrichment below:

https://bestfriends.org/stories/features/dog-enrichment-equals-happiness

https://resources.bestfriends.org/article/enrichment-ideas-activities-and-products-indoor-cats

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/canine-diy-enrichment