There’s more to keeping companion animals healthy and happy than just providing them with food, water and shelter. While fulfilling these basic needs is essential to their survival, it is not enough to make them feel fully satisfied in life, which is a priority for any caring pet owner. Take small animals, for example—they have natural urges that go beyond staying nourished.
“Small animal health and happiness transcend nutrition,” said Lucas Stock, communications manager for Oxbow Animal Health. “In addition to the right nutrition, daily opportunities for physical, behavioral and nutritional enrichment are essential to meeting the key instinctual needs of small pets. In the wild, small animals would explore, chew, hide and play throughout the day. When these instincts are overlooked or not properly supported, the negative results can include a sedentary lifestyle, obesity and multiple boredom-based behaviors. Among many benefits, pets with access to enriching accessories are more likely to be physically active, mentally stimulated and have a stronger bond with their owners.”
In order to encourage small animals’ instinctual behaviors, which include playing, chewing, exploring and hiding, Oxbow designed its new Enriched Life line. “Offering daily opportunities for enrichment is an essential step in providing a happy, healthy life for small pets,” said Stock. “Enriched Life product categories include natural chews, engaging play centers, behavior-inspired habitats and premium care items. Together, these categories provide pet parents with the tools they need to meet their pets’ enrichment needs each and every day.”
Oxbow’s Enriched Life products are meant to support physical, behavioral and nutritional enrichment on a daily basis. “Our natural chews and play centers are made with safe, enriching materials that include untreated wood, natural fibers and vegetable-based dyes to promote safe and engaging chewing and playing throughout the day,” said Stock. “Our new rabbit, guinea pig and hamster habitats feature behavior-based designs that meet instinctual hiding and exploring behaviors. Our premium care items come in a variety of designs and sizes to meet the specific needs and preferences of pets.”
Consumers should always be reminded to help satisfy their small animal’s enrichment requirements in order to keep them healthy and happy, as well as to strengthen the special bond between human and critter. “We encourage all pet parents to set aside time each day to interact with their pets via Enriched Life or their enrichment items of choice,” added Stock.