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Canine Environmental Enrichment

canine environmental enrichment

Stimulation Is Important for Cats Too 

Just like their canine counterparts, cats need stimulation. Boredom in cats can prevent itself as inter-cat aggression, over eating, anxiety or over-grooming as seen similarly in dogs, but environment enrichment can help here too. Since cats are such sensory driven creatures, puzzles and games are some of the best ways to appeal to their natural instinct — and make for a far more confident and less stressed cat. You can use some of the following tools to quickly enhance your cat’s living space and make sure she is happy, healthy and stress free.

  • Scratch posts allow your cat to indulge in a habit that comes naturally, while reducing stress and stretching muscles at the same time.
  • Puzzle feeders engage your cat’s hunting instinct and ability and keeps the mind moving, even at dinner time.
  • Tunnels and hideaways are simple and necessary for even the most confident cat. Make your own fabric tunnels for hours of endless fun.

Does your dog like to bark, dig and chew everything in his line of sight? Before you panic and head straight for doggy boot camp, the solution may be simpler than you think. Just as humans do, dogs get bored. Unlike humans, however, dogs have fewer means of passing the time. Instead, bored dogs can develop unhealthy behaviors and stress-related habits, such as excessive personal licking or chewing, which can potentially cause them harm. 

Environment enrichment can help.

Environment enrichment is the process of making your pet’s living space engaging and stimulating in order to decrease boredom and avoid any associated consequences. Keeping your pets busy and engaged with mental games, active training and enough daily exercise will protect both your pets and your furniture. You can thank us later.

Environment Enrichment 101

There are a few simple ways to improve your furry friend’s immediate living space and help encourage mental and physical development, including the following:

  1. Use Food-Dispensing Toys

Toys that dispense food are an excellent way for your dog to beat daily stress and boredom. Keeping your dog busy while you’re gone by making them work for treats, or their entire meal, keeps them interested and engaged. They are far less likely to be distracted by an arm chair or potential digging spot if they are being rewarded and encouraged with their favorite foods. Additionally, using toys that encourage dogs to eat more slowly can even improve digestive health.

  1. Schedule Puppy Play Dates

As wonderful as engaging toys and human interaction can be for your pets, other dogs provide stimulation that we simply cannot. Regular play dates with other friendly dogs is one of the best ways to keep your dog learning and consistently engaged. Provide your pup with the opportunity to run, sniff and explore a new, safe space with a brand-new friend! 

  1. Stimulate Their Senses

Much like humans, dogs need variation to keep them learning and developing. Whenever you can, provide your pup with the opportunity to explore new spaces. Maybe try a new trail on your morning walk, take a trip to the beach or pack your smaller furry friend into a secure bike basket and go for a ride. Allowing your dog to experience new things will keep his senses keen and improve both his physical and mental health.

Want to Know More?

If you have any further questions about environment enrichment, or any unhealthy behaviors you have seen appear in your pet, contact your veterinarian for additional resources and support. 

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
     

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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