Boarding Kennels

Enrichment during Pet Boarding

Enrichment for pets can be a wide variety of different activities, because enrichment is basically any action that improves or enhances a pet’s quality of life. Every pet is different, so what might be enrichment to one pet, could very well be stressful to another.

When a Pet Boarding or Doggie Day-care business is providing enrichment to pets in their care, it is important to know what is right for each individual pet. This depends on several factors, such as:

  • Which species – Cat, Dog, Bird, or small critter
  • The pet’s breed (for example, brachycephalic dogs need to be monitored to avoid excess activity which could lead to breathing problems)
  • Their personality traits (are they social or shy?)
  • Their age
  • Their mobility levels
  • The outside environment (climate)
  • The time of day (for example in some areas of Australia during Summertime, there may be restrictions on outdoor play during the hottest hours of the day when temperatures are soaring)

The style of enrichment provided will therefore differ greatly from one pet to another and could include a huge rage of different options. For some outgoing, high-energy dogs, they might love to run around chasing a ball, splash in the pool, or engage in a social playtime session with other pets.

By comparison, when providing enrichment to a low-energy or timid dog, it might be preferred to spend time with the pet in their room patting them, brushing them, and talking to them. For those pets who need constant on-going amusement, consider an activity that they can work away at on their own, like a Kong treat or a doggie ice block!

For the elderly dogs, it is important that regardless of their mobility level, they get up and move around. This might include a slow walk on a lead, a paddle in a shallow puppy pool, or some time to wander around the yard and sniff the grass.

For the felines in a Pet Care facility, it is important that they are kept mobile during their stay. Not all cats like to be handled (by their owners or by strangers in some cases!) so it is important to give them their space when needed, but ensure that they have the opportunity to come out of their room, stretch their legs and explore.

In all cases, the Pet Care facility is going to be considering the outside environment to ensure that it is appropriate for the level of activity being undertaken. This will ensure that the pet is always kept safe and comfortable and avoid any stress from exposure to the elements.

Every pet care business will be slightly different and offer a different range of enrichment activities. It is important that those people in charge of caring for pets know as much as possible about what they need, so that they can recommend the best possible package for pets during their holidays.

For more information about the Australian Pet Care Association, visit us at where you can join to become one of our fabulous members or contact the Secretary of the Association anytime at