Environmental Enrichment for Pets

Canine enrichment

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. 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.

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

Featured Dog Koda

Koda needs someone who will help him with his weight loss program. He needs to get plenty of exercise and a monitored diet. He loves going for walks and is very strong. He has lost over 30 pounds since coming to the shelter. He is happy to be by your side, loves belly rubs and playing with toys.

Peanut- Senior border collie/beagle blend. He will do best in a quiet home. Loves going for walks. He is a volunteer favorite. You need to meet him one on one to appreciate this dog.

Fera- Her owner could not keep her do to a move. Fera is a happy 5 year old. She likes being with people and would prefer to be the only dog in the home. She does well on a leash and loves playing with toys.

Featured Cat- Cali

Cali’s owner became ill and could no longer care for her. She is a large lady that is in need of a good diet and exercise program. She likes being petted and has recently been shaved. She is quite talkative. Cali is playing with toys and will come when called and follow you around  for attention. She ignores the other cats in the room although will voice her displeasure if they come too close to her space.

Other available cats

Indy came to the shelter after being found 4 tiny babies of her own. She has been a wonderful mom to her babies, who have all been adopted, and it is time that she gets the love and attention she deserves.

Lover- Seal Point senior Siamese. Beautiful coloration. Likes to watch all cat room activity. He is overwhelmed with all the activity in the cat room and needs to find a quiet home where he can relax and “chill out”.

Soft and furry

Roger rabbit is still available. After being abandoned he needs time to settle into a home. He seems litter box trained. He will cuddle on your lap but then he gets a little over stimulated and needs a time out.

The City of Mesquite Animal Shelter located at 795 Hardy Way is open for adoptions from 8:00 am until 4 pm Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), Saturday 11am-1pm , Sunday 1pm -3pm. Please call – Animal Control may be reached by phone or voicemail at 702-346-5268

All animals will be spayed or neutered prior to leaving shelter and receive 1 year rabies vaccination and city license. Ages are approximate.

The animals submitted to the media may have changed so please visit our Petfinder website for a current listing and more detailed information on the animals. www.mesquiteanimalshelter.petfinder.com

Please also check our Facebook pages for lost and found animals along with pet information. https://www.facebook.com/MesquiteNVAnimalControl  and https://www.facebook.com/FRIENDSOFMESQUITENVANIMALSHELTER