By Suzanne Denk, Animal Enrichment Specialist for Animal Friends
Everyone loves bubbles! Animals love bubbles too, which is why we use them as part of our kennel enrichment.
Bubbles provide something interesting and new for animals to look at outside of their kennels. Something new happening in the kennel areas enriches the environment, giving the animals the opportunity to think and to explore their space. Enrichment decreases stress and therefore, can decrease physical and behavioral problems.
Every Friday at Animal Friends is bubbles day. Staff and volunteers are welcome all day to blow bubbles for the animals. Bubble blowing is limited to Friday only because without moderation, the novelty is lost. It is important that bubbles only be introduced once a week to keep the activity unique for the animals. Moving bubbles stimulate the animals’ minds…and make the people feel like kids again!
The response from both dogs and cats is about 92% and from the people it is 100%! The cats, who are recovering from illness in the isolation area, will get up and come to the front of their cages to watch the bubbles float past them. One of our geriatric dogs acts like a puppy nipping at the bubbles in the air.
Try blowing bubbles for your own pets. If you feel like splurging, check out “PetQwerks Doggy Incredibubbles” These bubbles land without popping and are edible!
As for me, you can find me in the kennels blowing bubbles. I have to; it’s my job!