Happy New Year from the Canine Country Club! As we usher in a new year, we’re all presented with a great opportunity to be better pet parents. As you set goals and resolutions for the new year, there are two big buzzwords flying around the dog world that you should be aware of: canine enrichment.
Don’t know what canine enrichment is? Don’t worry! Whether you’ve heard of it or not, we want to help you understand the phrase and why it’s so important in the dog community right now. At the Canine Country Club of Arkansas in Little Rock, we’re devoted to keeping our dog parents informed and involved so you can make the best possible decisions about your dogs. Keep reading to learn about canine enrichment and why it’s important!
What is Canine Enrichment?
The ASPCA defines canine enrichment as: “Additions to an animal’s environment with which the animal voluntarily interacts and, as a result, experiences improved physical and/or psychological health.” This definition may sound complex but canine enrichment includes actions that are really quite simple. It can be as simple as providing your dog with the following:
- Regular walks
- Social interaction with humans and other dogs
- Toys and games
Enrichment can also include providing your dog with puzzle games, like food toys where they have to chew or perform a certain action to receive the food inside. Other ways to provide enrichment that require a higher level of intentionality include providing dogs with sensory stimulation, whether through sound (music), odor (spices, herbs, other smells), or textures (soft blankets or stuffed toys, toys with rough textures, etc.).
Why is it important?
According to ASPCApro.org, there is a good amount of research showing that dogs experience higher stress levels when enrichment opportunities are not provided. For example, behaviors like hyper-arousal and depression can be seen in dogs when they haven’t been presented with chances to chew, play, or otherwise be exposed to sensory stimulation. In short, canine enrichment is important because, without it, your dog is prevented from being the best, most healthy version of himself.
Canine enrichment is already an important phrase but we predict that importance will only grow in 2018, as dog owners realize just how significant it is to their dog’s well-being. At the Canine Country Club of Arkansas in Little Rock, one of our distinguishing features from the competition is that we provide all of our dog guests with enrichment opportunities. Our dog guests get to experience social interaction with both humans and other dogs and they get to play with toys that exercise their bodies and minds.