Junior Zookeepers

Make enrichment for your pets!

Do you want to try out your skills as a junior zookeeper? Oakland Zoo’s keepers provide so much more than food, water, and a clean environment. They provide enrichment, things to keep our animals mentally stimulated. Your domestic animals can benefit from enrichment just as much as wild ones do. 

Boil ‘em. Mash ‘em. Stick ‘em in an Ice Tray?

Treasure Tubes: The real luxury worth hoarding (For Dogs)

Treasure Tubes (For Cats)

Rat Tunnel


Ready to try it out? Click the links above to make these enrichment items and check back later for more enriching recipes.

Feeling creative and want to try designing your own? Get started here

Sometimes enrichment can come in unexpected ways for Oakland Zoo’s Animals. Click here for some good clean fun with our otters.


Training is another form of enrichment that can help strengthen the bond between a human and an animal. At the Oakland Zoo, we only use positive reinforcement to train our animals for husbandry reasons - so we can better take care of them. We’ll ask them to do things like put their paw against the fence so we can check the pads of their feet; lean their shoulder against the fence so we can give them their vaccines; and more. The key is they always have the option to walk away and not participate in the training. If they don’t do what they ask, there is no punishment for the behavior. If they do what we ask, they get a treat.

Before you start training your pet, try your hand at training another member of your household. Use the training game to practice and hone your skills. 

Ready to try out some basic training with your dog? Teach them how to sit using positive reinforcement!

Visit us on Facebook and Instagram for updates on what we’re doing to keep our Zoo animals entertained while the public is away. 

Click here to download our enrichment journal template.

Click here or here to find out more about the S.P.I.D.E.R. framework. 

Click here to find out which common household items are dangerous for your pets.