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Wednesday, 27 January 2016 17:26

Animal Enrichment

Keeping our dogs and cats happy as they wait for their forever homes is very important! One of the ways we do this is through enrichment. Enrichment is enhancing an animal’s environment to meet their physical and emotional needs. Here we discuss a number of ways that volunteers can help us. You can also use these ideas for your own dog or cat.

Canine Enrichment

Make homemade, “doggy friendly” popsicles for our pups to enjoy. This is an awesome treat for hot summer days and is sure to make your pup smile!


  • Solo cups (or something similar)
  • Peanut butter
  • Chicken or Beef Broth- The broth cannot have garlic or onions, avoid Bouillon Cubes as they are known to have these ingredients. You can even make your own broth naturally by boiling beef meat or chicken, or beef or chicken bones.
  • Yogurt- Make sure it is plain yogurt without any added sugar or artificial sweeteners, artificial sweeteners are poisonous to dogs.
  • Dog treats

Pick a couple of these ingredients, mix them together, pour them in the cups and freeze them. Once frozen, serve them as a delicious treat and watch your canine friend rejoice!

DIY Puzzle Toys
Make a puzzle for our dogs to enjoy and exercise their brains with! Links for ideas/instructions:

PVC Pipe Puzzle toy: http://www.kyhumane.org/component/k2/item/108-puzzle-toys

Tennis Ball Puzzle Toy


  • Tennis Ball
  • Scissors/Knife
  • Dog food or treats

Cut a hole on one side of the tennis ball. Use scissors to cut off excess felt and rubber. Fill with treats and ta-da!

Muffin Tin Puzzle Toy


  • A muffin tin with cups about the size of tennis balls
  • Enough tennis balls to cover each muffin cup

Put treats into the muffin tin and cover openings with the tennis balls. Your canine friend will now use their nose and paws to knock the tennis balls off and reveal their delicious prize!

If you have other DIY puzzle toy ideas try them as well! Pinterest is a great source too!

Feline Enrichment

Tupper Ware Puzzle Toy: http://theglamcat.blogspot.com/2014/01/diy-cat-puzzle-tutorial.html

Tissue Box Puzzle Toy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHduUObQJ0w

DIY Scratching Post and Wand Toy: http://www.designsponge.com/2012/12/diy-project-pretty-cat-toys.html

Toilet Paper Roll Toy


  • Cat Nip
  • Cat Treats
  • Paper Towel/Toilet Paper roll tubs

Cut toilet paper rolls in half or paper towel rolls in thirds. Fold in the sides of one end of each roll. Fill each tub with treats and then fold the end of the other side. Rub cat nip on the outside (optional). The “smellier” or more pungent the treats the better, so the cat can sniff the tasty treat inside.


Cut rolls at ½ inch intervals and fit them over each other into a ball. Use pet safe glue to make sure the pieces stay together. You can rub cat nip on the outside of these as well and ta-da! Your feline friend has a wonderful new toy to enjoy.

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