What Is Enrichment?
Definition of Enrichment
From the Association of Shelter Veterinarians: Enrichment refers to a process for improving the environment and behavioral care of confined animals within the context of their behavioral needs. The purpose of enrichment is to reduce stress and improve well-being by providing physical and mental stimulation, encouraging species-typical behaviors (e.g., chewing for dogs and rodents, scratching for cats) and allowing animals more control over their environment.
Importance of Enrichment
Enrichment programs mitigate the development and expression of abnormal and/or problematic behavior and contribute to the overall wellbeing of the animals in the shelter environment. From stress reduction to mental stimulation, enrichment directly benefits both the physical and mental health of the animal and assists in maintaining this health throughout the shelter stay.
OK, You've Got Me!
Please visit our enrichment pages for ideas of what you can do for cats and dogs or better yet, join our team and help out at your local shelter.
Excerpts from the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators | www.sawanetwork.org | June 2017