Our Sensory Garden is OPEN!
I’m delighted and excited to announce that our Oakington Dog Day Care Centre Sensory Garden is now Open. Everyone has had some input into the garden to make it the super facility. I’m so chuffed that we now have an amazing enriching space for the dogs to explore.
This new facility will allow the dogs in our care to use their senses and engage with their surroundings, it provides additional stimulation and enjoyment and is another way to enrich their day. It provides elements for them to display their natural behaviours like digging without destroying your garden. Sounds help create a chill-out zen-like zone, natural noises like wind chimes and grasses can sooth and create a calmness, helping the dog feel at ease and relaxed. Working a dog’s senses can be as tiring for them as a long walk.
Dogs are curious animals and by encouraging them to interact with their environment by providing both physical and mental stimulation we can help to build their confidence, help to calm and de-stress them. They come into the garden to explore, investigate, sniff, nibble, hear and feel.
Watching the dogs as they enter our Sensory Garden is fascinating, they instinctively know that this is a completely different space from the rest of Oakington Dog Day Care, they don’t run and play like they do in our other spaces. That said, we had made a lovely feature of a circle of different sized shiny garden balls, during one pupsters investigations he found he could move them and another of his pals came to join in the fun, so this feature had a quick redesign, where they were not practising their bowling, this is just an example of our dogs having their own input into their garden. Our dogs do make us smile, it’s one of the great things about looking after and being with them all day.
Meghan, our Canine Enrichment Team Leader says "our sensory garden is a quiet place that gently stimulates the dogs' minds and promotes a calm and tranquil atmosphere for them all to enjoy"
They take an interest in anything new that we’ve done, if we’ve moved anything or added new items.
They appreciate the chill time and smell the roses, or plants and herbs in our case, sometimes we all need and benefit by a little quiet time-out.
We have things for them to climb over, under and trough, different surfaces for them to feel when they walk, sit or lay on them.
Herbs for them to smell, enjoy and nibble if they choose to,
Grasses for them to sense, smell, hear and feel to soothe them.
We have just planted a patch of ferns so they can move through and around and sense against their skin.
There are items that move.
Wind chimes they can hear in the breeze.
Branches for them to sniff and snuffle in.
A paddling pool to keep then cool or to dig in.
A designated dirt patch they can happily dig in.
And soon to be added a couple of water features for them to enjoy.
Our Sensory Garden came about when 2 respected local dog trainers planted a seed (pardon the pun) about a sensory garden when we opened our daycare, their enthusiasm and passion for a garden area for dogs was infectious and we agreed it was an excellent idea and would make a superb addition to our daycare. Everyone at Oakington Dog Day Care has been excited about and involved in the design and creation of our Sensory Garden, and the suggestions continue to come, so watch this space!
We will continue to grow and develop our Sensory Garden which is a huge hit not only with our dogs but our fantastic Canine Enrichment Team also love spending time in there too.