Enrichment for Dogs

What is enrichment?

Enrichment is providing opportunities for your dog to engage in species-specific behaviors with the goal of improving their well-being. While physical activity like going for walks, playing with other dogs, and chasing a tennis ball can be considered enriching for many dogs, there are a lot of other species-typical behaviors that dogs find enjoyable, stress reducing, and satisfying such as licking, chewing, sniffing, and shredding. Used well and often, enrichment increases the quality of life of a dog, and it builds emotional resilience in our pets by preventing boredom and providing mental stimulation.

In The Puppy Palace, enrichment is an essential part of preparing puppies and their moms for adoption. Consider Martha, a resilient mama dog who arrived at The Puppy Palace by way of the Animal Adoption Center and Yola’s Rescue with 13 puppies. Yes, you read that correctly – 13 puppies. After the puppies nursed, we were able to give Martha a much-needed break from mothering by providing enrichment for her puppies. They enjoyed sniffing for kibble in the grass and shredding egg cartons while Martha sunbathed and gave herself a bath. As well as training with JH Positive Training, we utilized enriching activities to teach the puppies patience with frustrating activities like sniffing for kibble in a kiddie pool full of empty cans.

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Follow us on Instagram @askasanimals to see how we use enrichment to entertain our short- and long-term residents.