As I sit in the morning drinking my coffee I’m able to watch the bunnies, chipmunks, birds, squirrels going about their business collecting food.  To my surprise I also see them playing, sometimes with each other sometimes just by themselves with an acorn, pine cone, or stick, it’s quite the site.

This got me to thinking.  The animals we care for are really our captives, we determine what they eat, how they exercise, and if they have toys.  We enrich our dogs, and cat’s lives with toys, walks, and exercise, but what do we do for the small animals that we care for?  The rabbits? The hamsters? The guinea pigs? The chinchillas? The rats? Or even our birds?

Why don’t we do the same for our small animals?  They are for the most part living in a box (cage), we feed, water, treat them and occasionally take them out to hold or play.  How boring this must be for them.  What can be done?   

Well here are some suggestions from Oxbow for Mental Enrichment, make mealtime more mentally enriching for your pet, try stuffing hay into hideouts or other “safe to chew” containers, such as toilet paper or paper towel rolls.  For added enticement, bury a few of your pet’s favorite treats toward the back of the hay and watch them eagerly hunt for them.

Encourage Natural foraging behaviors.  In the wild, your pet would spend much of his day foraging for a variety of plant material or seeds.  Offer multiple varieties of hay to encourage these healthy, natural behaviors.

Small pets are social and playful by nature, and providing safe and enriching play items helps build the bond between pet and pet parent.  We have a large variety of “toys” or accessories that come in a wide variety of options to support pets play instincts.

So to sum it up what are some of the benefits to enrich your small animal or birds lives?

1.  Supports instinctual behaviors such as playing, chewing, exploring and hiding.

2.  Promotes physical & mental health of pets through fun, play-based activities.

3.  Provides daily opportunities to strengthen the bond between pets & their owners.

4.  Decreases boredom-based behaviors & health concerns such as over grooming, destructive chewing, obesity, & increased aggression.

5.  By mimicking natural environments and activities, we can give our furry/feathered family members the best of both worlds.

Have questions on what to do? Stop in and check out our section on enriching your pets life through play, any of our associates would be happy to help you.

For the month of July 2019 purchase any Oxbow product and get a pick from the box of Oxbow “toys” for your furry/feathered family member.  One per customer. 

Paula Gorman - Pet Supplies 'N' More (copy written)