Enrichment for HSVC Shelter Dogs

In a shelter environment, we often start to see our four-legged friends exhibiting certain behaviors that stem from lack of mental stimulation. Behaviors such as hyper arousal, stress, anxiety, depression, and compulsive disorders are all commonly developed by dogs who spend extended amounts of time at a shelter. 

Mental stimulation is essential for dogs in and out of the shelter environment. Exercising a dog's brain has been proven to help cure boredom and calm a dog's energy level. Even a short ten minutes a day of engagement with an enrichment toy can help relax a dog for several hours. 

There are several types of enrichment toys and activities you can use with dogs to improve their behavior. Common enrichment toys include Kongs, puzzle feeders, and other types of food dispensing toys. Activities like walks, obstacle courses, and nose work are great ways to enrich an animal both physically and mentally. 

Enrichment toys help stop unwanted behaviors in dogs such as: 

  1. Barking
  2. Fence Fighting 
  3. Over Excitement
  4. Frustration
  5. Pacing
  6. Chewing 
  7. Obsessive Licking

Managing these behaviors with the help of enrichment toys can make dogs interacting with shelter staff, volunteers, and the public appear more adoptable. A potential adopter is much more likely to view a dog licking peanut butter from a Kong toy or a frisbee than a dog pacing and barking in a kennel. 

The Humane Society of Ventura County is in need of Organic creamy peanut butter (no added salt, sugars, or hydrogenated oils), 3” spring loaded carabiners, and inexpensive frisbees to help kennel staff create enrichment activities for the dogs under our care. Suggested items can be found on our Amazon Wish List.

We are still accepting in person donations at the shelter located at 402 Bryant St. in Ojai. Please note that we are currently closed to the public due to circumstances related to COVID-19. The shelter remains staffed from Monday-Saturday from 10 am - 5 pm for emergency services. For updated information on our services, please visit our website or call 805-646-6505.

We appreciate your understanding and support during this difficult time. 

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