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The Importance of Enrichment

Imagine being left alone for 8 hours a day with absolutely nothing to do. No TV to watch, no book to read and no computer to surf the net. You would be bored and your day would feel endless.

Dogs, like people, need things to do to keep them occupied. They crave exercise and mental challenges. If you don’t give them something fun to do, they will find something to do on their own. And it will usually be something that you do not approve of. Give your dog “legal” outlets for their favorite activities such as chasing things, chewing, scavenging for food, or digging.

Feed meals from work-to-eat toys instead of using a bowl, or toss kibble in the grass for them to search and find. Fetch or flirt pole games are fun for dogs who love to chase things. A digging pit will give dogs who like to dig the chance to engage in this fun activity. There are a wide variety of toys on the market. Figure out the type that your dog likes best and stock up on them.

In addition to walks, where they are given lots of time to sniff, take them jogging or hiking. Include them in as many activities as you can. If your dog is dog friendly, there is nothing better than off-leash play with other friendly dogs. A well-exercised dog who regularly engages in favorite dog specific activities will be calmer, quieter, happier, healthier and better behaved.

Let them play. Let them have fun.

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