Today’s guest writer is Stacy Mantle, Founder of PetsWeekly. Stacy is writing about canine enrichment; what it is and why our dogs need it.
If your dog still lived in the wild, she would have an endless source of stimuli. She would spend her days chasing birds, experiencing the thrill of hunting and scavenging for food. She would take long naps with her dog friends, smell a million smells and, even while sleeping, she would utilize her incredible senses to recognize potential threats.
Of course, the wild is also home to predators and a thousand other dangers. While we no longer leave our dogs in the wild, we can provide enrichment to help them cope in their much duller domestic environment.
What Is Canine Enrichment & Why Do Dogs Need It?
Enrichment is defined as “bringing value” or “to make richer.” When we discuss enrichment for dogs, we’re referring to the same qualities – making your dog’s life richer. “Environmental or behavioral enrichment is the process of manipulating an animal’s environment to increase physical activity and normal species typical behavior that satisfies the animal’s physical and psychological needs,” according to Ohio State University.
Enrichment makes your dog happier and helps reduce stress all while helping them become more socialized, better-mannered and eager to learn.
Just like us, dogs crave entertainment. They need to be mentally stimulated, just like their humans. A simple walk on a new and different route allows them the opportunity to sniff new smells, experience new stimuli and investigate new mysteries.
New foraging toys or feeding puzzles can help them slow down their eating and learn new skills. Playing DOGTV during the day can expose them to new stimuli in the form of images and sound.
This is why canine enrichment is so important to having a healthy, happy, well-behaved dog.
Remember, if you don’t give your dog a job, they’ll be sure to find one on their own – and you may not like the job they choose for themselves.
DOGTV provides programming for your dog that’s organized into relaxing, stimulating and desensitizing segments that work together to provide just the right balance for the daily routine of your pups.