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What is environmental enrichment and what is its importance for your pet?

Did you know that environmental enrichment can make your pet’s life healthier and more fun? This measure is able to improve the way your furry animal interacts with the surrounding area, making him spend his days more entertained in a playground or corner with stimuli that try to imitate those he would encounter in nature.

In addition, the pet is encouraged to move more, to enjoy its space and to have a more joyful experience. That way, he can have several benefits, such as improving his relationship with other pets and humans.

Do you want to know more about why environmental enrichment is so positive for your pet? Keep reading and find out!

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What is environmental enrichment?

Environmental enrichment involves implementing various measures to change the place where the pet lives, adding playful elements that provide experiences that improve its quality of life.

Usually, the practices adopted aim to provide new experiences similar to what the pet would encounter in nature. As a result, he will also be able to behave more naturally while having fun and using his senses better.

Some of the items that help compose this environment are toys for cats or dogs. In the case of cats, there are also structures with scratching posts, shelves (that simulate steps or where they can lie down), shelves, etc. that are placed in rooms. Such items allow the animal to climb, jump between objects, hide (in niches or on shelves), among other activities.

Plants, interactive rugs, chewable objects (mainly for dogs) are other elements that contribute to environmental enrichment. When it is well done, its main result is to make the place attractive for the pet, who can spend a good time having fun in it or even resting.

What are the main types of environmental enrichment?

There are several types of environmental enrichment. Here are some of the main ones:

  • to feed – one of the focuses is to encourage the pet to face challenges to feed, as it would occur in nature. But the obstacles are light. For example, when using a feeder in which the feed is hidden and he needs to find it. Another idea is to give chewable items and snacks with different textures to encourage chewing and taste;
  • cognitive – promotes reasoning, learning, memory and the ability to solve animal challenges, that is, its intellectual part. In that case, the pet will keep its mind active and develop skills while it is busy. For this, it is possible to use toys, such as interactive balls, and set up a mini training circuit at home;
  • Social – encourages the pet’s coexistence with humans and other animals (of different species as well) to stimulate its trust. With that, he can lose his fear and become less aggressive. For this, the pet is integrated into another environment, even external (in nature). This practice requires monitoring and is recommended from the puppy stage;
  • physicist – stimulates the pet’s physical activity and its interaction with the environment. For this, you can make hiding places, obstacles and challenges using boxes of different sizes, hanging ropes, structures for climbing, substrates (earth, grass, leaves, sand) and other different furniture. It is recommended to move items regularly to keep the pet from getting bored.

What is its importance and what benefits does it generate?

Implementing environmental enrichment for pets generates some benefits, such as:

  • Skills development;
  • decreased aggressiveness;
  • greater stimulation of the senses;
  • improvement of problems generated due to living in poor stimulus environments, such as behavioral issues, weight gain, illnesses, anxiety, hyperactivity, compulsive disorders, etc. In a way, it can reduce the animal’s stress which can lead to hair loss and other negative consequences.

How to put environmental enrichment into practice?

If you are interested in putting environmental enrichment into practice in your home, we have some tips that may be useful. Look:

  • to start, define which type you want or whether you want to implement several at once;
  • then you’ll need to define what goals you want to achieve. Do you want the pet to overcome small challenges? Do you want him to have some autonomy to choose where to sleep, play or go for a walk? Do you want me to develop a skill? Do you want him to have contact with constant news that can cheer him up? Does he need to interact with other pets?
  • after thinking about the desired results, it’s time to acquire the objects that will make up the environment in which your fur will be. You can also use your creativity to produce toys and other fun items for him.

Some changes in the place where the pet lives and the increase in interactive objects can greatly improve the well-being of your furry companion, in addition to helping him to relate better with you and with other people and animals. So it is worth investing in environmental enrichment!

If you have a cat, another knowledge that can help you improve your relationship with him is to know your personality type. In that case, check out the special article we prepared on this topic!

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