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  • Deb Bauer

Enrichment for Dogs with Sensory Differences


White shetland sheepdog sniffs at a plastic star-shaped food puzzle toy

Providing Enrichment for Dogs with Sensory Differences


As someone who lives with visually and hearing-impaired dogs, I get it. I understand the ongoing questions. Are we providing them with the best quality of life? Are they missing out on things due to their sensory differences? Are they bored? Are they sad? Are they living their absolute best lives? Could I be doing more?


Whether a dog has been born with these differences, or if they come about later in life, we love them dearly and want the absolute best for them. We want to give them every opportunity and every joy in their lives. And if we think something is missing, we worry about it.


What has made the most difference to my own dogs’ lives, and to my client’s dogs, has been incorporating a variety of appropriate activities and interactions into their daily routine. When a dog’s sensory input changes or is diminished in some way, they can miss out on information from the environment that initiates interest, activity, and engagement.


That means they may spend more time lying around or sleeping because there’s nothing else to draw their interest. They may also lose their confidence because they no longer feel as safe as they did when they could easily see and hear things going on around them. So, they might be reluctant to move around or engage in the things they used to enjoy. We may notice them acting hesitant, unsure, or even withdrawing from their usual activities.


These changes can be hard for us to watch because we love them so and can also be confusing for our dogs. Providing fun and interactive games and activities for our dogs to do can help them to be more active, increase their confidence, and can provide us with ways to enjoy interacting with our dogs in new ways.


Why Enrichment Matters


Creating a variety of experiences to interest and engage our dogs is called enrichment, and it’s crucial for helping our dogs have joyful and full lives so they can experience the best quality of life. When we give our dogs fun and interesting things to pay attention to and participate in throughout the day, it’s like us having our favorite hobbies to do. We feel happy and content when doing things we enjoy, and our dogs feel that way too.


I’ve seen enrichment turn hesitant dogs into confident explorers. It can take a dog from feeling unsure to once again excitedly engaging with the world around them! And it’s not difficult to do. It’s totally doable!


Is It All Fun and Games?


Enrichment is about having fun with our dogs, and that fun will encourage our dogs (and us!) to do more of it, but it has other benefits as well. Offering a variety of activities can increase a dog’s confidence, encourage physical activity and exploring, and enhance feelings of contentment.


Stimulating your dog’s senses, no matter which ones they rely on, is important for keeping their brains active and healthy and can help fulfill your dog’s needs. Dogs have a need to use their bodies and their senses daily. When this need isn’t fulfilled, we can begin to see frustration coming out in behaviors that we may not like too much. Enrichment gives our dogs acceptable outlets to meet those needs and prevent that frustration.


Here's the thing – enrichment is the key to unlocking your dog's full potential. We’re giving them the tools to conquer their world. Instead of just hanging out and missing out, they'll be jumping into life with zest. Plus, it's not a complicated ordeal. You don't need fancy gadgets or heaps of time.


Introducing Enriching Every Sense


I’m thrilled to introduce you to the Enriching Every Sense program. It's a treasure trove of activities and games tailor-made for your dog's unique needs. And guess what? You don't need to go on a shopping spree – you can use things you already have at home. It's all about turning the ordinary into extraordinary!


By sprinkling some easy-to-do enrichment activities into your dog's daily routine, you're making a world of difference. With minimal extra effort, you'll see your dog transform from hesitant to happy as they learn to navigate new challenges and rely on their strongest senses.


What’s Next?


Your dog's happiness is worth it, right? So, if you're ready to see your sensory-different dog light up with excitement, check out the Enriching Every Sense program. It's your ticket to enhancing their quality of life, one fun activity at a time. Don't let their limitations dim their spirit – let's bring out the sparkle together!


Remember, it's the small steps that lead to big results. Your dog's journey to joy starts right here. Get ready to witness their world light up with every new activity. Let's dive into this wonderful journey of enrichment together – click that link and let's get started! https://uniquely-paws-able.teachable.com/p/enrichment-and-games


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