My foster dog Henry usually goes to work with me. But, I was off today and also had a few appointments away from the house, so he spent most of the day at home sleeping. This evening, we went for a nice walk. However, when we got back home, Henry still had plenty of energy! […]
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Enrichment refers to any environment, object or activity that provides additional stimulation or that increases natural behaviors. When we keep animals in captivity, whether it’s a pet dog at home or a lion in the zoo, it’s important to pay attention to not just the animal’s physical health, but also the animal’s mental and emotional health. In this section, you’ll find lots of information and ideas about behavioral enrichment for animals.
Amy is my big black and white rat who I adopted from the SPCA nearly two years ago. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ve probably encountered some of Amy’s tricks and antics, such as learning to come when called and learning how to use my iPad. In her younger days, […]
If you spend much time on Facebook (or read Sophia Yin’s blog) you might have already heard about the Foobler. The Foobler is an innovative new interactive puzzle feeder for dogs. I have many clients with young, active dogs. These clients are often interested in training or consultations because their dogs are spending too much […]
I often make my ratties “work” for their dinner. I’ll take their dinner, divide it into several portions and then make it into some sort of puzzle. For example, I often hide their rat blocks and dry food in boxes, toilet tissue rolls, or egg cartons. Then, they have to chew through the paper and […]
Animals like knowing that something good is coming. Think about how excited children get when they know a reward is coming–the kid squirming in his chair 5 minutes before the final school bell rings or the anxious child 2 days before Christmas. Expectations and anticipation can make rewards even more exciting than they might be […]
Stereotypical behaviors (abnormal repetitive behaviors) are commonly seen in animals kept in captivity. Polar bears and other large carnivories are notorious for repetitive pacing type behaviors. Grazing animals kept in unnatural or confined environments often resort to chewing on bars or fences or obsessive licking. Other animals rock back and forth, obsessively groom themselves or engage […]