Enviromental Enrichment Tips

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Google Maps location for Albany Veterinary Hospital

Albany Veterinary Hospital
312 Albany Highway
ALBANY
WA 6331

Phone:
08 9841 1788

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Do you have a destructive dog? Crazy cat? Or maybe a batty bird?......... Lets talk about Environmental Enrichment! 

We mention enrichment to a lot of people and are  usually met with people having little or no knowledge of what I am talking about. Environmental enrichment refers to any activity that enriches the lives of our pets. 

A lot of pet owners are very aware of making sure that their pets physical needs and wellbeing are met, but don't give a second thought to their mental needs. Don't get me wrong, physical exercise is very important for all animals, but we need to make sure they are using their brains as well.

Every month we will talk about a different way to spice up your pets daily routine. We will add these to this page but also we will link them to our monthly newsletter and social media formats.

Mental activities are very tiring for our pets and therefore can help to control or eliminate destructive and boredom related behaviours. By tiring out our pets mentally, they can more inclined to stop unwanted behaviours, especially when home alone. For dogs, this could include barking, digging and chewing. For cats this may include things like scratching and marking and for birds, screeching or feather pulling.

Most enrichment activities are food based. Our pets were not designed to eat food from a bowl. In the wild, they would have to hunt, forage and collect food and this skill has been lost in our domestic animals.

The use of food dispensing toys and puzzles are very good for reinstating this skill. There are a lot of different toys and activities on the market that promote foraging and working for food. These very from things like Kong Classics, which are designed for chewing, to balls that are designed for chasing and rolling around, dropping food as they go.

Even simple changes can be helpful in enriching our pets lives. Have you ever considered spreading their food out across the house or yard for them to find? Enrichment doesn't have to be expensive and there are lots of home made options available.

It also doesn't have to involve food. Allowing dogs time to sniff different scents while out walking or providing a pet friendly herb garden to smell are good options. Teaching tricks is also a very good way of getting our pets to use their brains, and its fun too!

Think outside the box and I'm sure that there are a hundred different, enriching activities that you can provide for your pet. With introducing any new activity start out easy and encourage your pet, to give them optimum chance of success. Once they get the idea, you can increase the difficulty. Always ensure that your pets are supervised and that anything you are using is safe and pet friendly.

Most of all have fun!

Dog Sports

Phoenix Agility

 We all love our dogs and enjoy getting out and about doing different activities with them, but did you know that there are also a wide range of Dog sports available in WA?

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Our Feathered Friends

Birds

Do you have feathered friends in your household? Birds are popular pets and are well suited to many people’s lifestyles. Small parrots such as Budgies, Cockatiels, lorikeets and lovebirds are adored for their intelligence and cheeky nature. Often hand raised, these types of birds are friendly, easy to keep and a good choice as a family pet.

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Nosework

Dog nose

Do you often get pulled along by your dog who MUST go and smell a scent he has detected?

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Resting Enrichment

Cat rest

Sometimes it is inevitable that our pets need to rest. This may be due to injury or maybe they need to rest after a surgical procedure. This time does not have to be daunting or stressful for us or for them.

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Embrace your greying pet

old dog 3

 While it's all good and well to keep our young pets busy with interactive/environmental  enrichment, lets not forget about our Golden Oldies.  Our senior pets also benefit from being mentally stimulated, which may even enhance cognitive function and they still enjoy modified physical activities.

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