Do happy cows only live in California? Nope!
Zoos have been using environmental enrichment programs for decades and this clearly enhances their quality of life. Research proves that zoo animal enrichment (in this case a few balls) is essential for the health and wellbeing of ALL animals including cows.
This applies to our pets at home as well, but this video reminds us that all creatures great and small can benefit from extra stimulation in their lives. Enjoying a simple game of soccer is just one example of enrichment.
Toy enrichment alleviates boredom and encourages mental stimulation. Enrichment objects are explored via feet, tail, and mouths and encourage exploration. Novel toys like balls are great for your large animals and important to help stimulate natural behavior. Behavioral enrichment reduces stress and promotes overall health by increasing an animal's perception of control over their natural environment.
There are many ways to increase the quality of life through enrichment items like games, puzzle feeders, and even empty water bottles. Getting creative with animal care is key!
Here are two cows enjoying "enrichment" in the pasture.
Who does this video remind us of? Nobody loved farm animals and was a bigger animal welfare advocate than author James Herriot. He famously said:
"If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans."
After watching this, we are reminded of how "human" animals can be and how much they actually enjoy exploratory play!
What enrichment activity are you planning for your dog, cat, or cow? Tell us in the comments below!
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