Santa is visiting animals on our Holiday Windows livestream daily at noon through December 23! Santa will be providing enrichment to help boost the behavioral and emotional wellbeing of our shelter pets.
What is enrichment?
Enrichment is the action of enhancing or improving the quality of an animal’s life and giving them an opportunity to exercise choice in how they interact with their environment and engage in typical behaviors. Examples of enrichment include training, puzzle toys, and playtime. Through enrichment, we can enhance the welfare of shelter animals by giving them the ability to use their senses and engage in behaviors that are normal, but otherwise restricted or unavailable to them. Daily enrichment is also great for your own pet and it can replace regular walks when they are not feasible due to environmental, medical, or behavior reasons.
How you can try Santa’s enrichment techniques at home:
- Dog-specific food puzzle toys, such as Kongs, are great forms of enrichment where your dog works to lick food from a toy. You can also try homemade food puzzles.
- Try using positive-reinforcement training with treats or toys.
- Take your dog on a “sniffy walk,” not rushing, but letting them explore any scent they find interesting.
- Play with other dogs or playing with humans through games like fetch and tug can be great enrichment.
- Automated-enrichment items like treat-launching devices are also a great option.
- Try cat-specific food puzzles.
- Use positive-reinforcement training with treats.
- Provide vertical spaces to climb and explore
- Scratching posts can be great for enrichment.
- Playing with other cats or playing with humans using fun toys like noodles is also enriching!
- Automated-enrichment items such as mechanical mice and butterflies and scent enrichments such as catnip are excellent as well.
Don’t forget to tune in at noon daily through December 23 to see our wonderful, adoptable shelter animals get enrichment from Santa!
Your support allows us to provide programs like Santa Claus enrichment for our shelter animals. Please consider making a gift to help animals in need this holiday season: Donate Today
Thanks to our sponsors: Nestle Purina PetCare Company, Macy’s, and the SF SPCA Board of Directors.