Many shelters are overcrowded and stressful for dogs and cats. Staff and resources are often limited. Shelters are always look for new ways to be more efficient and innovative ways to keep dogs happy, healthy, and entertained. Finding the right products and services, particularly enrichment products, can go a long way in improving the cats and dogs' daily life in the shelter.
Why Enrichment activities are Important:
Since shelters are often understaffed, they can't afford to spend hours each day playing with every dog in their care. As a result, many dogs and cats spend their days doing nothing but sleeping, eating, and waiting for someone to come play with them. This does little to enhance their mental and physical health. A lack of activity, coupled with a lack of mental stimulation, can lead to anxiety, boredom, and behavioral problems such as aggression.
By providing a wide range of products that offer stimulation and mental exercise for dogs in the shelter, owners and staff can help the dogs stay happy and healthy. Enrichment toys can keep the dogs and cats occupied and engaged with activities that will help them reduce stress. Some enrichment toys also provide physical stimulation to help build and strengthen their muscles and bones. Playing with these toys also helps to promote good socialization among the dogs and cats, allowing them to learn essential life skills that will help them become better integrated into society once they are adopted.
Studies have shown that dogs and cats exposed to regular enrichment activities are happier, more active, and have fewer behavioral problems than dogs who don't have access to them. It becomes easier to place them in their forever homes when they display happy behavior.
If you are a shelter owner or are planning to help a local shelter, here are the 3 new pet products/services that will make your shelter more efficient and can help improve the quality of life of dogs and cats therein.
1. SavingLife - Collaboration Platform
Saving-Life is a SAAS platform that enables collaboration between shelters through messaging, animal search, transfers with clinics and more. Entire life-cycle management of all animals in the shelter including medical records, transaction history and more is available. Efficiency is the big benefit here.
Items that shelters use on a daily basis like microchips, cleaning supplies, and medicines have pre-negotiated volume discounts built into the platform. This offers shelters a single point to order just about everything the shelter needs. It will have a huge benefit on time savings and product savings. And any time saved on administrative tasks can be spent with the animals.
What we like about this platform is that it has been designed Tom Van Winkle, an Animal Welfare Professional who has extensive knowledge in shelter management. He knows what shelters need.
2. Zoundz Music For Pets™
Zounds Music is designed to settle anxious pets and create a less stressful environment for them. The goal is to make it easier for pet professionals to do what they need to do while the pets are calm. The advantage in shelters that all the shelter animals benefit at the same time.
They offer a fully integrated program that is simple to set up and easy to implement. It combines unique content and software with the shelters’ hardware to deliver Zoundz proprietary music seamlessly throughout a facility. The system uses voice commands to make it easy for the staff to control the music, and switch between dog and cat channels.
What we like about this is that it is backed by scientific research. Zounds founders’ combined veterinary advisors and music professionals to create and deliver a program that effectively reduces pet anxiety in everyday stress-inducing situations. Like Shelters.
3. Zilla® Kennel Kit
The BarkerFun Kennel Kit features the innovative Zilla food container and clamp. It is designed to feed dogs and cats off the ground while providing mental stimulation. When the food container is held off the ground and affixed to the kennel, it eliminates resource guarding. It also eliminates ants and bugs in the food.
The Zilla food container is hexagonal-shaped with a small opening that will allow shelter staff to fill the container with wet dog food, peanut butter, and other treats. Through the small opening, the dog has to lick and work for the food inside, thus making feeding time mentally and physically stimulating. The Zilla is made of the most durable natural rubber material. It is non-toxic and dishwasher safe. It is also easily stackable in the freezer so shelters can save much-needed space.
What we like about this is that it works for both dogs and cats, It keeps the food elevated and attached to the crate door. Thus removing resource guarding and ants. It is a neat slow feeder enrichment toy.
A Final Word
Almost all shelters are understaffed. So, efficiency through software and collaboration will provide more staff time for the pets. Enrichment toys and activities are always worthy investments for shelters. Enrichment improves the overall health of dogs and cats. And healthy dogs and cats have a higher adoption rate. A win-win for everyone. Enrichment activities and toys also free up time for the staff so that they can attend to many animals at the same time.