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Dementia Support Kit

Holistic Support for Feline and Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

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Cat and Dog Enrichment Ideas

Pet Care Tips 4 min read
jack russell terrier dog carrying a colorful rope toy in their mouth. they have a child's wheelbarrow full of toys. dog enrichment ideas.

Are you looking for cat and dog enrichment ideas to help improve your little one’s cognitive function? Cat and dog enrichment toys and activities are recommended for various moments and situations, including relieving stress and boredom. 

Dog Enrichment Ideas

Applying these enrichment ideas over the years can help your cat or dog develop their brains, prevent or delay cognitive decline, and give them a fuller life with a sharp and active mind.

The idea of using dog enrichment toys to stimulate your little one is great, but they shouldn’t be offered all at once. Ideally, give your dog a toy for a certain period and remove it from their access before your little one loses interest in it. Another great strategy is offering a new toy when leaving the house in the morning. This will keep your pet entertained throughout the day, and when you return home, try to interact with him/her with another activity.

Dog enrichment toys should require effort and a bit of a challenge, and usually offers some reward, like a treat or a noise your furkiddo might like. Here are some useful and fun enrichments toys for dogs:

  • Enriching Chew Bones: Dog-specific bones take time to consume. These are especially useful for pups that spend long periods without the presence of other family members. Make sure they are bones suitable for dogs, to avoid life-threatening fragments capable of causing injuries or even choking. 
  • Treat-Dispensing Toys: There are some toys on the market that can release treats as your furbaby plays with them. This is a great idea to keep active pets busy for a while, as food and treats are usually a big draw. 
  • DIY Dog Enrichment Toys: A more homemade option is to make your own enrichment toy with a plastic bottle. Remove the label, make holes along the bottle, put some treats inside and offer it to your pet. Be cautious if your pup has a strong bite and has a tendency to swallow small pieces and object fragments. In this case, the lid of the plastic bottle might be a hazard.
DIY Dog and Cat Food Puzzles

Cat Enrichment Ideas 

  • Shelves for cats: Because of their hunting instinct, cats like high places to climb and settle. For pet parents who spend long periods away from home, the installation of strategically placed shelves for kitties helps provide entertainment while the rest of the furmily is not present. 
  • Scratchers: In addition to keeping cats busy, scratching posts prevent the cat from choosing to scratch their nails on furniture in the house, such as sofas and chairs, for example. Scratching posts should be essential components of the cat’s environment as they serve both as leisure and for marking the animal’s territory.
  • Cardboard Boxes: Cardboard boxes serve as dens for cats, who are very curious animals and always seek a different distraction. Scattering a few shoeboxes or grocery boxes around the house or apartment can encourage your pet to keep entertained.
A fluffy gray tabby cat stepping out of a cardboard box while another cat is sniffing the top of the box.

Environmental enrichment in senior pets

Applying these enrichment ideas over the years can help your cat or dog develop their brains, prevent or delay cognitive decline, and give them a fuller life with sharp and active minds. When your furkiddo ages, they may require slight changes to their daily enrichment, however. 

Every idea still applies, but you might need to make some tweaks in the level of difficulty or the amount of time you spend with these activities. Older dogs might need an easier puzzle toy or a bone that is not as hard to chew, for example. Changes in the duration of playtime, exercises or even walks might also need to be adjusted for both cats and dogs. 

Slight adjustments might also be needed for senior cats. Keep in mind ways that you can help your kitty to safely have fun, despite their limitations as an older cat. A good example of cat enrichment adjustment for older kitties is lowering the height of the shelves, to make it easier for them to hop on. 

Natural Support for Brain Health

An enriching environment is a great starting point for a healthy brain. But a balanced diet and natural herbal supplements can also go a long way. If you’re looking to improve your little one’s cognitive abilities and slow down the progression of dementia and other neurological issues caused by the aging of the brain, the supplements present in our Dementia Support Kit may be helpful.

This bundle includes five supplements that work together to help support nerves and brain function, as well as improve the immune system and aid with discomfort and inflammation. NHV Natures Immuno, NHV Turmeric, NHV Pet Omega 3, NHV Old Timer, and NHV Yucca are rich in antioxidants, vitamins B and C, and many other properties that can be used at any age to help your furbaby live a fuller longer life.

To learn more about cat and dog enrichment activities here. We are always here to offer personalized advice and more cat and dog enrichment ideas. Reach out to our pet expert team for supplements that may help delay or prevent cognitive decline in your little one.

Dr. Rebeca Oliveira DVM

Dr. Rebeca Oliveira DVM

Dr. Rebeca is a holistic veterinarian from Brazil with a passion for natural and integrative medicine. She’s been studying integrative medicine and alternative (and healthier) diets since 2015, and now started to study the power of herbs with the NHV Family. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her golden retriever, Kuga.

Published: August 2, 2022

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