Enrichment is defined as providing animals with needed environmental stimuli that satisfy their natural instincts, which promotes greater physical, psychological, and emotional wellbeing. Dogs were bred to work, and without appropriate ways to use their natural gifts, they will often exhibit problematic behaviors, signs of boredom, or become stressed and anxious. For dogs, enrichment activities provide an outlet for instincts like chewing, digging, foraging, herding, hunting, and scent tracking. Enrichment can aid in socialization, reduce stress and anxiety, prevent boredom, and provide mental and physical exercise.  Enrichment based daycare exercises the dog’s mind and body providing a more balanced experience. The goal isn’t just to make the dog tired, it's to fulfil the dog’s innate needs for physical as well as mental exercise.

How to enrich?

Training your dog tricks or dog sports is a great way to enrich them, this is mental stimulation, which is just as tiring as physical exercise!  No dog in the wild or wolves ever ate from bowls, so ditch the bowl for feeding, use their food as a reward in training, or use it in the wide selection of enrichment/feeding toys that are on the market - or you can make your own!  You can also scatter feed their food, throwing it all over the lawn for them to search for, or leave a trail for them to follow.  

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