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Unlocking the Joy: How to Keep Your Furry Friend Mentally Sharp and Happy

By December 6, 2023 Uncategorized
pet enrichment

At Eastside Veterinary Associates, we know how much you do to keep your family pets happy and healthy. But did you know that a lot of your pet’s mental health and happiness starts at home? Keep reading to learn more about pet enrichment and be sure that your furry friend is getting all the mental enrichment that they need:

Why Pet Enrichment Matters

Environmental pet enrichment at home refers to the idea of working with your pet’s home environment to support species typical behavior, increase physical activity, and engage natural skills and thought processes. Good enrichment practices can go a long way towards helping a pet achieve their physical and psychological needs, reducing stress, and promoting overall well-being.

Good pet enrichment practices have been shown to directly correlate to the decrease in many behavior concerns, including:

  • Litter box problems
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Inter-pet aggression
  • Destructive behaviors like digging, scratching, and chewing
  • Anxieties including separation anxiety

A little effort on your end can help your pet be happier, healthier, and allow them to thrive in your home. It really is as easy as that. 

Upping Your Game on Mental Stimulation for Pets

If you are ready to work on your pet enrichment strategies at home, there are a lot of easy changes that you can institute almost immediately. Some of our favorite places to start include:

  • Using interactive pet toys
  • Finding puzzle feeders for dogs and cats that help make meal time more stimulating (we love indoor hunting feeders for cats and maze bowls for dogs)
  • Rotating toys often
  • Adding vertical space to your home for your cat to explore
  • Setting out new things for your pet to play with (even a paper bag or a cardboard box can make your cat’s day!)
  • Providing structured time each day to interact with your pet
  • Working on positive reinforcement training
  • Adding a bird feeder or some other visual interest outside of your window for your pet
  • Having a pet play date if your animal enjoys
  • Allowing your pet to sniff on a leisurely walk and/or working on nosework when you are home

Physical exercise is great, but most pets need mental exercise as well. Be sure to play games with your pet regularly. Enrichment games for pets can help them mentally and physically, and it will even improve your bond.

Good pet enrichment isn’t hard to accomplish, you just need the right tools to get started. Please contact us if you need help or advice when working towards creating an environment your pet can thrive in.

Author eastsideva

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