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Introducing the Fourth Category of Enrichment: Environmental

by Dennis ODonnell on April 29, 2020

We’re getting really excited for the challenge, it’s only a matter of days away now!

As we get closer, we want to share with you the next level of enrichment, and that’s environmental! This involves adding new things to your dog’s environment that will peak their curiosity, engage them, and even increase physical activity. Before doing this, be sure to consider their age and breed and what may speak to them the most.

One awesome thing we just came across is dog parkour; that’s right, dogs are now participating in parkour, and it’s another great way for them to experience environmental enrichment. When considering this, be sure to keep in mind their physical limitations, you wouldn’t want to over exert your pup!

Making your pup’s surroundings more interesting really isn’t that hard, it can be something as simple as placing a mirror in the living room or taking them to play on a playground. If you want, you can create a backyard of enrichment by building a ramp in the yard, dabbing some scents (you can do cinnamon, lavender, or other interesting scents) in a few spots, or hiding a few toys in special spots. This will keep them engaged and exploring the yard. One thing, if you decide you are hiding treats, be sure you’re careful with ants or bees (you don’t want them getting stung or bit!)

You can make your walks with your dog more stimulating, too! Many people simply take their pups out to relieve themselves, but don’t give them the time to stop, sniff, and investigate their surroundings. As you take your dog out, be sure you’re giving them time to explore and learn about the world around them, through their nose! You can even turn some of these walks into power walks, so you both get a little bit of a workout.

Environmental enrichment will help reduce stress and promote overall health over time. It will also help with behavioral issues they may have, by helping them channel any extra energy or anxieties into exploring their surroundings and satisfying their physical and psychological needs.

We hope you utilize environmental enrichment during the #PAW5EnrichedLifeChallenge — it’s perfect for the moments you can’t necessarily be there with them, but also provides good opportunity for times of bonding with your pup!

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