Enrichment........what does it mean and what does it mean to us at Drum?
“The action of improving or enhancing the quality or value of something”
So, how does this apply to us here?
Well, yes we are kennels and yes, the dogs are in kennels. But they don’t need to be shut away and forgotten. And here at Drum, all the dogs and cats in our care are definitely not just locked away and forgotten.
The more enrichment an animal can have the happier and healthier they are.
When a customer leaves their pet in our care, it is important that they go home in the same condition or even better! We want them to have a good appetite, be happy and confident and have a healthy coat/demeanor.
So how do we achieve that?
Well, firstly, we feed good quality food. We supply a variety of dry and wet food but all near the top of the food range. This has a double benefit of contented dogs and cats but also less waste produced.
Secondly, we give the dogs (I’ll talk about cats enrichment later in this blog) lots of attention and exercise. We have a grass paddock, albeit, not huge, that every dog goes into at least 4 times a day. That’s 4 times a day that they are out of their kennel, running, sniffing, playing, lying in the sun, doing what a dog likes to do.
Thirdly, we get to know every dog in our care and what their individual needs are. Some dogs like to be quiet, don’t like to be handled much and are happier in their kennels in their familiar surroundings and smells and just going into the paddock to relieve themselves. Where others love the hustle and bustle of other dogs running and thrive on the excitement and love to interact with us.
All of the above comes under the heading of enrichment but the enrichment I am talking about is how to make their stay simply the best, so that at bedtime, the dogs are well exercised, their brains have been stimulated and they are ready to rest.
Interacting with each dog, stimulates them. Talking to them, sitting with them, rewarding them for simple tasks such as sit, down, give a paw are all enrichment behaviours. We provide toys, some to chew, some to tug on, some to puzzle how to get treats from. We use lick mats and snuffle mats for treats. We play with the dogs in the paddock, we lead walk them, allowing them to have new smells to investigate and new areas to search. We are always looking for new, exciting ways to increase our boarders enrichment. Some dogs crave attention, so just being with them, stroking and talking to them is enough.
The cats in our care also have enrichment. We give them different levels to climb, sit or lie on. They have puzzle toys for treats, dangling toys and some that have catnip and scratch posts.
Cats love their comfort so we give them a choice of cosy beds to choose from. However, some cats just like the peace and quiet, so comfortable, warm beds are what they like best.
We want the pets in our care to want to come back and we hope by making their stay enjoyable this will help.
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