Kate Joseph has plenty of tips for making your pets' lives richer and more varied.
Kate Joseph has plenty of tips for making your pets' lives richer and more varied.

Enriching your pets’ lives is fun

ENRICHMENT is all about keeping our pets entertained, especially when life gets a little busy.

What's more, enrichment can be cheap, easy and fun for the whole family.

So how do you know if your pets would benefit from a little extra enrichment in their lives?

If they dig holes, bark, get over-excited, harass each other, chew your things, or if you spend any length of time out of the house then enrichment should be on your 'to do' list daily.

So what to do… What to do… ?

Firstly, reconsider your recycling bin.

Not a lot in our house goes into the recycling bin without being recycled through the backyard first.

Fill a toilet roll with treats, fold in the ends and give it to the cat, dog or ferret.

Hand over the pizza boxes, put some treats in an empty milk bottle and hang it from a tree branch or simply toss it out in the yard for a slow feed breakfast.

Scatter feed (sprinkle treats or kibble through the grass) before going out and let your pet forage for their breakfast. If they're an inside pet, hide it through the house for them to find.

Hide a bone or some kibble in a cardboard box or try filling a kids' pool with grass clippings and mulch before hiding food or toys in it.

For an indoor equivalent, for the creatively inclined, you could try making a snuffle-mat (Google how).

Or try making a snuffle garden by spreading around some new and interesting smells such as feathers, horse manure or scented towels.

For comfort toys make a cushion/bed out of an old jumper that smells like you or tie a few knots in an old pair of socks.

Anything that smells like you is going to do the job, so get creative and make some happy pets in your house.

Remember, safety first.

Always give a new item supervised the first couple of times to make sure your pets aren't ingesting anything they shouldn't or playing in ways that could endanger them.

If you're not sure, throw it out.

Pair these items with a few well-made commercial enrichment toys and you have yourself one better balanced pet.



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