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September is Responsible Dog Ownership Month. One thing that is very important to Fido’s health and well-being is providing enrichment. Your furry friend will likely spend between 8 and 14 hours a day sleeping. That still leaves him with at least ten hours a day to fill! A local vet offers some insight on this below.
Enrichment, in this sense, means keeping Fido active and entertained, and making sure he isn’t getting bored. There are different types of enrichment. Social interactions may mean things like doggy daycare or puppy playdates. Occupational enrichment are things that keep your four-legged friend busy, such as scavenger hunts. Nutritional enrichment may entail things like puzzle treats that dispense toys. Sensory enrichment may include things like, well, sniffing lawns. And then there’s physical enrichment, which would entail playing or going for walks or hikes.
Walks are great for enrichment, but if it’s cold or rainy out, a walk in the park isn’t going to be very appealing. You can offer your pooch stimulation indoors. Things like puzzle toys, snuffle mats, and treat-dispensing toys will definitely keep your furry buddy occupied. You can also play Hide And Seek or the Three Cups game. Some pups even like watching TV. Training counts, too!
Our canine companions are quite intelligent, and they can get quite frustrated with nothing to do. Boredom is no fun for anyone! If Fido gets bored, he may try to amuse themselves by engaging in bad behavior, such as digging or chewing. Enrichment is also just important for your furry pal’s mental and emotional health, and his overall quality of life.
Every dog is a little different. You may need to experiment a little to find out what your pooch likes best. If you have a scent hound, such as a Beagle, you may find that your canine pal loves scavenger hunts. A sight hound, on the other hand, may prefer playing Fetch. The options may also change as your pup ages. For instance, a senior dog may be better suited to a doggy version of the Three Cups game than a rigorous hike at a park. Ask your vet for specific advice. You may also find doing some breed research is helpful here.
Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? We can help! Contact us, your local veterinary clinic, today!