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Tips and Tricks - Enrichment

Updated: Mar 3, 2022

What is enrichment?

Enrichment is a key aspect of pet ownership - it is just as important as correct nutrition and veterinary care. We need to make sure that we meet all our animals’ exercise and behavioural needs; such as digging, hiding, social contact, foraging and gnawing. Without enrichment, stereotypical behaviours (eg. pacing, rocking and excessive grooming) can manifest, animals may feel stressed, and acts of aggression towards humans can occur (Poole, 1998; Baumans, 2005).

The main aim of enrichment is to allow animals to exhibit a wide variety of behaviours. In the wild, an animal’s environment is constantly changing, but we must simulate this change in captivity (Wells, 2009). Therefore, having knowledge and understanding of an animal’s natural behaviours is necessary to be able to make an appropriate environment in captivity (Baumans, 2007). Animals should feel safe and secure in an environment that is complex and challenging, but one that they can control (Baumans, 2005).

Here are some of our Ranger's favourite enrichment tips and tricks to improve your pet’s welfare, no matter the species.