Enrichment activities can decrease stress, stimulate the animals physically and mentally, provide a sense of control and prevent undesirable behavior from beginning. Enrichment means providing our shelter animals with an environment that is varied, interesting and stimulating. Variety in the environment gives our animals the opportunity to think and to explore their space. The mental and physical health of the animals is also benefitted from the enrichment activity.
Reduction of stress levels in the animals can come from behavioral enrichment in addition to providing a pleasant environment. Behavioral enrichment stimulates the brain and provides opportunities for species-specific behaviors. Rabbits may enjoy a sandbox, mirrors, tunnels, or an egg carton stuffed with hay. Cats take pleasure in a scratching board, milk jug rings, or a fringed toilet paper tube. Dogs relish a good chew toy, a daily stuffed KONG, ice cubes, or bubbles.