Dog Enrichment: Why Socialization, Exercise, and Stimulation Matter

Sep 12, 2022

The start of another school year means fun, new experiences. Students are back in class exercising their minds. It’s a great time to think about enrichment and learning activities for your fur kids too! They may look cute curled up in their bed while the house is quiet, but, when given the choice, your dog would rather be active.

Dogs need to exercise their minds and bodies to remain healthy, mentally engaged, and well-behaved. Dogs are naturally social and energetic so being sedentary can lead to boredom, bad behavior, and possible health problems due to a lack of exercise.

The right dog daycare program can make all the difference! When a dog’s physical and mental energy is directed toward productive activities and playtime, the result is a happy, well-behaved dog.

Some benefits of enrolling your dog in a daycare program include:

  • Socialization with other dogs and people
  • Activity throughout the day rather than a midday walk
  • Reinforcement of basic manners and skills

dog running down ramp daycare enrichment activitiesHoliday House Pet Resort & Training Center offers several daycare programs, each designed to bring out the best in every breed and personality. Socialization, exercise, and stimulation in a safe and positive environment are the foundation of the daycare program with options for additional activities or one-on-one playtime with a daycare teacher. The resort features multiple play yards with a variety of gear and toys that provide a range of sensory and physical experiences.

The Explorer program incorporates customized activities which allow the dogs to use instinct, skill, and physical abilities during purposeful play. The experienced daycare staff engages with the dogs in enrichment activities and games such as puzzles, herding balls, nose work, nature hikes, and fun’gility skills.

“I suggest our Explorer program for all types of dogs, not just the energetic breeds that benefit from the extra activities,” said Ro Riley, one of the daycare managers, adding “It’s great for shy dogs too because exercising their skills truly brings out their personalities, and they start anticipating the activity time.”

“Giving dogs exposure to different environments and experiences builds their confidence,” commented Alex Hendricks, another daycare manager.

A confident dog is less likely to have separation anxiety. The boost of confidence also provides the dog with motivation for learning.

Both daycare managers have seen the positive changes that occur when dogs get together. One example that stands out in their experience is dogs that have lost a canine sibling. “Dogs can experience sadness. Being around other dogs and participating in activities does lift their spirits. There is a visible change for the better in energy and demeanor when they are engaged and active,” added Riley.

If your dog prefers personal attention over being in a group environment, the resort offers a program that provides customized activities that the dog will enjoy most.

“Even for dogs that prefer the company of people to other dogs, it doesn’t take away the need to be mentally stimulated, social, and happy. We work with each dog to give them activities they enjoy and get the most benefit from doing,” said Riley.

Incorporating brain games and exercises at home also provides your dog with a sense of accomplishment. Praise reinforces trust and comfort in being an important member of the family.  There are a variety of dog enrichment toys available for you to use to keep your dog busy and challenged at home.

“Planet Dog is a very popular brand of enrichment toys as well as West Paw—both brands are American-made. Dog Casino and Injoya have puzzles and games with levels increasing in difficulty from easy to more challenging,” said Vince Fahringer, manager of Dogs & Cats Rule in Doylestown.

Dogs & Cats Rule—with several locations around the Delaware Valley—carries a wide variety of brands and types of enrichment toys. Their knowledgeable staff can help you find the product that your pup will enjoy. Remember, these activities are designed to do with your dog for the most benefit.

“Our professional daycare team enjoys developing the activities that keep the dogs active and engaged. Dogs are an important part of the family. They need the daily attention, stimulation, and exercise that we also desire for happiness,” said Dr. Laura Weis, owner of Holiday House Pet Resort and Doylestown Veterinary Hospital.

Call Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center at 215-345-696 to enroll your puppy or dog in the daycare program by scheduling a Daycare Introduction. For current daycare clients interested in learning more about how canine enrichment activities or additional training sessions can benefit your dog, talk with one of the daycare teachers or call to speak with a client care specialist.

Call Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center today to book your pet’s one-of-a-kind vacation at our luxury pet care facility!