When you adopt a pet, you’re promising to take good care of your new buddy for the rest of their life. A good part of that entails taking care of their physical health: providing food, water, comfy shelter, grooming, and, of course, veterinary care. However, our animal companions also need enrichment and entertainment. A local Bucks County, PA vet discusses enrichment in this article.
Why Enrichment Is Important To Pets
Stimulation is important for a good, overall quality of life. You wouldn’t want to sit around with nothing to do but stare at the walls, and your animal companion doesn’t either. Enrichment also helps soothe anxiety, and can keep pets from getting restless and bored while left alone. It’s also important to understand that animals still retain much of the ‘wiring’ that was crucial to their survival in the wild. They have deep-seated urges to explore and investigate things. It’s important that their environments offer options for this.
Types Of Enrichment For Pets
There are several different types of enrichment for pets. Occupational enrichment may include things like training or doggy sports, while nutritional enrichment satisfies that ongoing need to find yummy morsels and tidbits. Social activities, such as interacting with people or other pets, is crucial for preventing loneliness. There’s also sensory enrichment. Catnip is a great example of that for cats. For dogs, it may entail just going for a walk and taking in all of the new scents.
Tips On Offering Your Pet Enrichment
Our furry friends are all unique. The type of enrichment that is best suited for your pet will depend on their age, size, breed, and personality. For instance, a Labrador Retriever may be great at agility training, but that isn’t going to be a suitable activity for a Pug. Personal preference also comes into play here. One kitty may love catnip, while another may just yawn and walk away. Try new things, and see how various toys and games go over. It’s also important for your pet’s environment to provide some enrichment. If you have a cat, providing a comfy window seat with a good view can go a long way in keeping her entertained. For smaller animals, like birds and rabbits, provide a spacious cage, lots of toys, and daily free time. Do plenty of research, and ask your vet for specific advice.
Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Bucks County, PA pet clinic, anytime.