Environmental enrichment is: to improve the conditions and quality of life of an animal, by an increase in physical and mental activities.
Already in 1911, they were talking about it for wild animals in captivity in zoos. In 1990, several studies have demonstrated the beneficial effect it brings. Still, it's really only in the last decade that the subject becomes more and more relevant in our domestic animals. Nowadays, behaviorists are not the only one to talk about it. It is now part of routine recommendations given out by veterinarians and technicians.
Did you know that ...?
-Dogs should spend about 5 hours a day to search and obtain for his meal
-A dog can understand 300 different messages.
-In nature, cat spends between 2 and 11 hours to hunt for prey .
-That a normal cat sleeps a lot, but rarely more than 12 hours a day.
What are they doing all that time saved?
*They do not know what to do, and, over time, they may become anxious or depressed, hyperactive or gain weight.
*They channel their energy in the behaviors they can express (and that are often considered as either normal or undesirable).
Now, what can you do?
May you pet may be perfectly happy, that he has some behavioral problems or shows some overweight, the staff of the Ste-Rose Veterinary Hospital is there to advise you to make it even happier. A rich and stimulating environment will make your relationship with your pet much more enjoyable for him and for you! We love our animals. We must get to know them and recognize their preferences.
In a future article, I'll give you tips on how to enrich the environment of your pet and improve their quality of life. Before your pet find an activity by itself, we'll take care to find it the right one!
Marie-Christine Hamelin, Veterinary Technician
The cat is a strict carnivore, but that the dog need a diversified feeding, including vegetables and fruits, grains, and meat.