It’s no secret that animals can become stressed in a shelter environment while they wait their turn to find their families.
There are new and unfamiliar smells, sounds, people and other animals that can put animals on edge. Staff and volunteers spend extra time in their temporary home socializing, walking and keeping them as comfortable as possible, and one of the biggest ways to improve their stay is to provide constant enrichment.
Enrichment is the process of providing mental or physical stimulation to animals to encourage natural behaviors, create their own choices and allow them to have control within their environment, and stimulate their curiosity. should be increased, which helps prevent the animals from becoming stressed or bored. If the animal is not allowed these things, it can result in a fearful, anxious or confused animal that may have a difficult time adapting.
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Midlands Humane Society provides animals with regular enrichment that targets a variety of stimuli.
Cognitive enrichment helps develop critical thinking through puzzles, challenging items, or exercises.
Sensory enrichment centers around objects that stimulate different senses for the animal (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) such as a colored disco ball, a scented blanket, soothing music or even their water. I some ice cubes.
The purpose of physical enrichment is to modify an enclosure to create a new environment for the animal to explore, such as boxes or sniffle mats.
Social enrichment involves direct interaction with other animals through direct or indirect contact and can be as simple as brushing their coats, reading books to them or facilitating playgroups with other animals.
Stimulation in the form of food is always a fan favorite, and special treats such as Kongs or Pup Sickles are loved to keep the animals busy.
With a schedule that allows for different types of enrichment each day, the animals in our care are not experiencing the same enrichment two days in a row.
Pets don’t have to live in a sheltered environment to enjoy all of these fun ideas, and you can easily take these ideas and create enrichment for your pet that fits right in your home. Let me work for you.
Do you have a puppy that likes to get into the trash? Maybe it’s time to get a kong or puzzle feeder to keep them occupied for a longer period of time.
Do you have a kitty who prefers to scratch on your couch instead of the nice scratching post you bought? You can try opening it up by placing high-value items in a paper bag and letting Fluffy go to town before crushing it.
Providing enrichment can help reduce some of the unwanted behaviors you may be experiencing with your pet simply by sending their brains into a more creative outlet. Results? A happy pet and owner!
If you are interested in donating items that MHS uses for animal enrichment, you can check out our wish list on Amazon or Chewy! To find it, visit our website. midlandshumanesociety.org And select “Wish Lists” under the “How to Help” tab.
Rudy A 3-year-old neutered male Black Lab with your typical outgoing, bubbly personality. He has energy to spare and would love plenty of space in his new home where he can run and play. Rudy will benefit from continued basic obedience training to work on his manners to make him a true gentleman. He doesn’t always introduce himself to new dogs, so we recommend meeting and welcoming any dogs in the home before adoption.
Zion A 12-year-old neutral male Domestic Shorthair is a senior darling ready to warm your lap or couch cushions. He prefers to spend his days peacefully sleeping and scratching his head.
Dora Spade is a 6-year-old female boxer mix who should not fool you with her gray face as she is still very young at heart. She is a friendly girl who loves to play fetch or run around with her canine friends. She is gentle, easy-going, and would be the perfect companion for both an active family or someone who prefers a slower pace.
Stop it A 1-year-old neutered male lab mix may look like an adult, but he’s still a puppy. He loves to play, cuddle, and make you laugh with his antics. He is looking for an owner who will continue his basic obedience training and socialization.
MHS is open on weekdays from noon to 6 pm and on Saturdays from 11 am to 5 pm. Check out our available pets online. midlandshumanesociety.org/adopt