Enrichment is a hot topic here at Mount Noddy. It is an essential part of meeting the welfare needs of the dogs and cats in our care. Not only for dogs and cats in our care, but EVERY domesticated pet. So what is enrichment?
Enrichment is something we add to an animal’s environment which helps to improve their physical or mental well being.
Here at Mount Noddy we try to give our animals as much enrichment as possible to help keep them happy and healthy during their stay with us. Here are some examples of the daily enrichment our dogs and cats have at the centre:
- Daily walks to explore new sights, sounds and smells
- Scent games and clicker training to keep busy minds occupied
- Social interactions, both human and canine when possible
- Food games using food or treat toys such as a KONG®, puzzle feeders or lick mats
Sensory stimulation including:
– Sound, such as classical music or other calming music
– Smells such as lavender and spices (always make sure the ones you are using are safe for your pet – some essential oils can be harmful).
– Textures, such as the feel of a brush against the skin, soft bedding, and toys to nose around the play yard.
In kennels and catteries animals have much less access to the environmental enrichment they’d have in a home, so the staff at Mount Noddy love to get creative!
The team often pick fresh flowers and grass for the cats, and make boxes full of crunchy autumn leaves that dogs love to search through for hidden goodies.
It’s easy and inexpensive to make your own enrichment for your pets at home. These are some of our animals’ favourites:
Frozen meat or gravy popsicles – a great way to keep cool in warm weather
Scrunchies – hide your pet’s favourite treat in a newspaper twist or parcel. Our cats love tuna parcels!
Kongs are great boredom busters. Fill them with something tasty and your dog will love working out how to eat it from the Kong. Fillings don’t always need to be treat based. There all lots of healthier options like chicken and veg. Foodie dogs can have their usual biscuits served in a Kong to make dinner times more fun.
Paper bags and boxes: our cats love to hide in boxes and paper bags! You can make it more fun by hiding a catnip toy inside too!
How creative can you be?