Winter weather plays no favorites; two-legged or four, you’re going to be spending more time inside. If you’re tired of being cooped up, remember that your furry friend might be dealing with his own version of cabin fever. While he might not be able to roll around in the green grass after chasing after his favorite Frisbee, he can still stay alert and active indoors. Consider these indoor pet activities suggested by the ASPCA and PetMD.
Create several “stations” in your home, with a different sign and pet command at each. Walk your dog to each station, and state the command or signal it. If he’s successful, he gets a treat! You’ll reinforce basic commands while your dog stays active.
Hide and Seek…Treats!
Clear out the breakables from one room, and get ready for a little game with your favorite furry pal. While your dog is out of the room, hide treats for him to find. PetMD suggests making the treats easy to find at first, then more difficult once your dog understands the game.
If your dog’s getting bored or restless, stimulate him with a treat-dispensing toy before behavioral problems start. PetMD recommends choosing a food toy that’s durable and easy to clean, filling it with healthy treats, and using it only occasionally (not at regular feedings).
If your dog’s an ace at basic commands, consider teaching him new tricks. Wouldn’t you like a high-five from your canine buddy, or to see him “putting away” his own toys in a basket? You and your dog can bond, and you’ll keep his mind engaged as he learns something new. PetMD recommends a 15-minute session.
Fun for Felines
Though your kitty loves to lounge about, exercise is good for him too. PetMD suggests stimulating your cat’s hunting instincts with motorized mice, feather toys, or yarn; just make sure to put the feather or yarn away after playtime is over. Another option is to use a laser pointer to mimic the appearance of a bug; your cat might love chasing it and romping around. Keep the pointer low to the ground, and avoid flashing it in your cat’s eyes.