Just like humans, our pets need enrichment to spice up their life! Typically when our pets lack enrichment, they get bored and we tend to see more behavioral issues such as chewing on furniture, jumping up on counter tops or going after your favourite pair of shoes. 

Providing enrichment for your pet may seem like a lot of work, but surprisingly it doesn’t require much to keep your fur babies happy. You don’t have to burn a huge hole in your wallet or sacrifice a lot of your time to give the gift of enrichment either – keep on reading to find out how!

There’s no better time than the present to spoil your pets and ensure your pet is staying happy and healthy! The last thing you want is to come home after a hectic day of work and see your dog destuffed your favoruite beloved pillow. Let’s avoid the hassle of having to repurchase any home decor, and get your pet fulfilled above and beyond your normal routine! 

Here are some dog specific enrichment ideas! 

  • The good old snuffle mats! Feeding dogs from snuffle matts is something we incorporate for our dogs in care and is an easy “hands-off” enrichment activity you can provide. The act of sniffing and foraging for food is a natural calming behaviour for dogs and can help slow down their eating! Snuffle mats can be found as cheap as $20 locally or on amazon or you can get creative and DIY! 

  • Socialize your pooch! Just like us humans, our dogs need social opportunities with other pets and people! Although we’re approaching those chillier days, don’t forget to bundle up and take them out for a walk or off leash park and let them mingle, baby! 

  • Teach a new trick! Teaching your dogs something new, like jumping over a pole or weaving through a living room obstacle is a great way to stimulate their brain and improve their agility. Plus showing off these new tricks make for a great crowd pleaser for any gatherings you may be hosting.  

  • Get creative! We’ve seen many of our fosters get pretty darn creative with their pet enrichment ideas. From making frozen dog treats to a giant ball pit full of leaves… the pet enrichment ideas are endless!

Don’t worry we didn’t forget about your feline friends! Providing cat enrichment also doesn’t mean you have to save up for those pricey catios or cat walls. Here are some cat specific enrichment ideas that will keep your kitty and your savings account happy! 

  • Trash to treasure! Cats are very curious animals and love to investigate anything new. The next time you have a box delivered, instead of compressing it and recycling all those fun shipping supplies let your cat play with it. Cats are entertained by some of the simplest items whether it’s bubble wrap, tape or a piece of wrapping paper. Please be sure to monitor your kitty and make sure they are not ingesting any of these items. BONUS! When they get bored of sitting in said box, flip it on its side or upside down as a brand new cat scratcher! Your furniture will thank you and so will your cat!

  • Bubbles! Cats are kind of like kids in the sense that they are amazed by all the little things. Getting some cat-safe bubbles for your cat is an inexpensive activity and fun way to provide that visual enrichment. 

  • Make your own wand! If you’re feeling crafty and have any old cloth or ribbons stored away in your dusty craft box, make them a new toy! Cats grow tired of toys quickly, but that doesn’t mean you have to go to the pet store or log in to Amazon every time they’re bored. 

  • Cat TV! It’s one of the cheapest things you can do for your kitty (if you currently own a TV of course). Search ‘Cat TV’ on YouTube and explore the world of endless bird feeder videos. This is a great option to stimulate their visual and hearing senses! If you’re living in a home, purchase a bird feeder, place it by a window and BAM! You just gave your kitty some live, HD quality, cat TV!  

Remember don’t overthink this whole enrichment thing! It’s not necessary to spend money on fancy puzzle games or interactive toys for your animals. Pet enrichment starts with the guardian’s effort, and even reading this blog is a great place to start! 

Here are a few “everyday” items you probably have laying around the house that make excellent enrichment opportunities:

  • Toilet paper rolls (trap treats inside and fold the ends)

  • Egg carton (not styrofoam)

  • Towel to roll treats/kibbles up in

  • Muffin Tins (for food puzzles)

  • Kleenex box  (empty)

For more Canine specific enrichment ideas please download the following document HERE!


Andrea Kozak

Andrea Kozak

Social Engagement Coordinator

Got ideas for our next blog? Email me at [email protected]!