Enrichment in a Daycare Environment

At Doggy Daycare we love to ensure that each dog has the best time during their stay with us. This not only means running around playing with their friends but also meeting their mental needs as well.

Studies have shown that it can be detrimental to a dog’s mental wellbeing for them to be overstimulated for a long period of time. So how do we make sure that a dog’s needs are being met but also ensure that they aren’t overdoing it?

Easy! All the dog’s in our care get regular breaks throughout the day. Including a 1 hour break in the middle of their day where we encourage downtime. Most dogs will happily go to sleep but some need help in the form of mental enrichment. We understand that not all dogs are the same, some prefer a particular form of enrichment and others, like Labradors, love anything that contains food! We cater to all our guest's different requirements and have various enrichment toys available. A lot of these can be used for a dogs lunch or just an additional treat.

Here is a list of the different forms of enrichment we use daily and their benefits:

Lickimats: Can reduce cortisol levels and help to soothe dogs. They are made from non-toxic material and are available in a tough range for those dog’s that may try and chew the Lickimat. It makes food last longer and can be frozen. They are great for wet food but can also be used with dry food. All you need to do is soak the dry food in water until mushy then spread it onto the mat. This is a great tool for slowing down fast eaters.

Kongs: Mentally stimulating toy, offering enrichment by satisfying a dog's natural instinctual needs. Unpredictable bounce with natural rubber.

Snufflemats: Using a dogs sense of smell to find food is a natural instinct for a dog. Using their olfactory glands to sniff out and locate pieces of hidden food within the mat helps to reduce stress, calms the mind and fulfils part of their biological needs. It can also be used for dogs who gulp down food. Best for dry biscuits, prime100 or other dry food.

Cardboard boxes: Super easy. Fill with treats and shredded paper or more boxes. Hide food within the box but not suited to wet food. Dogs have lots of fun ripping up boxes and bonus - shredded boxes fit better in the recycling bin.

Long-lasting chews: Takes a while to chew and is super tasty. Helps to reduce cortisol levels and calms the mind.

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