Enrichment for our pets involves making their living space more interesting and fun to alleviate boredom and stress, or through play and exercise.
To make life even more interesting this can be combined with how we are feeding them with the following benefits:
- Slowing down quick eaters by extending feeding time
Increasing confidence each time they are successful at finding or releasing food
- Exercising natural behaviours such as hunting and foraging
- Helping with training, especially learning to relax in a situation such as a crate as they are preoccupied with the task not the environment
- Reducing obesity as they will be more active in accessing their food
How to enrich feeding time
- There are lots of different puzzle feeders available for cats and dogs. If you feed wet food, you can also create your own puzzle feeders, e.g. a muffin tin can be used with a teaspoon of food put into each hollow, or for cats, place the wet food in a mug on its side so the cat must reach in using a paw.
- Hide 2 or more food dispensing toys for your cat or dog to find. Start by putting them within obvious sight and, when your pet has mastered that, you can then make them harder to find.
- Introduce this gradually, with a few treats or portion of their meal, working up to their entire meal. However, remember to weigh out your pet’s daily food portion and use this, so you don’t overfeed them
- Change how or where you do things, otherwise this too can become predictable and boring.
- Take care over what you leave your pet alone with. Don’t leave your dog alone with a toy or chew in case they get into trouble – they should always be supervised.
As an Agria Pet Insurance customer, you can speak to a vet completely free whenever you have a question or concern about your pet’s health. Simply download the Agria Vet Guide app for free 24/7 video calls; giving you expert advice to help keep your pet happy and healthy.
Related guides and advice
Keeping your pets cool and safe: Essential tips for hot weather care