Indoor activities for your pet
Experiment With Inside Games: Vary the games you play and regularly rotate toys to keep your dog or cat interested. Tug can be an excellent game for teaching self-control when played with the proper rules. Fetch can be done inside using soft toys. Increase the fetch challenge by tossing the toy up stairs with carpeting or runners to prevent slipping. For dogs or cats that like to chase, attach a stuffed animal to the end of a rope to simulate a predatory chase. More rambunctious or large dogs can be exercised safely in open areas, such as a basement or garage with the car pulled out. Use a laser pointer or a motorized mouse to encourage your cat to chase.
Encourage Scavenging: Dogs and cats are scavengers by nature, meaning they are programmed to spend many of their waking hours in search of food. Use this to your advantage by getting your dog or cat hunting for his meals with a few inventive practices. Instead of a food bowl, feed their kibble out of a food puzzle (a hollow toy with openings for kibble to fall out). For a long-lasting challenge, stuff a hollow toy, like a Kong, with canned food and freeze. Exercise your dog by tossing a treat piece by piece across the room and telling him to “find it,” so he can chase after it and hunt it out with his nose. Place your cats food at the top of the stairs, and in places they have to search out their food. On top of a cat tree is a great option!
Carve Out Some Quality Time: Rather than cooping up your dog all winter, take him on outings with you during the week. A date with your canine can be as easy as taking him to a dog-friendly pet store to choose a chew or toy. Pooch-friendly coffee shops welcome dogs with treats. Give the treat to your canine while he is secured in the backseat of your car with a seatbelt or inside a crate. Drop by your veterinary office for a social visit and have the receptionist give your dog a cookie. Arrange a visit to a friend’s front door for a treat, or invite friends to your home to interact with your dog. Consider having a dog walker come exercise your pooch if you can’t safely do it yourself. Most dogs can comfortably be walked outside for short periods when the right precautions are made, such as wiping paws off after walks
Schedule Play Dates: Dog-friendly canines benefit from play dates. Consider arranging play dates with your dog’s favorite friends, which can be done right in your backyard or at pet-friendly parks. Even when the weather outside is frightful, dog park loyalists are still braving the cold. Dog parks can give your dog both off-leash exercise and interaction with other canines. Doggy day cares are another way to give your dog interaction while you’re away from home or when you just need a break. Make sure your dog has the proper training to behave at this dates, as well as a good flea and de-worming prevention! Bugs are still present in the colder temperatures!
Create an Indoor Agility Course: Never underestimate the power of the homemade agility course. Create obstacles for your dog or food motivated cat to navigate, much like he would on an agility course. Use chairs as weave poles for your pet to navigate around. Line other chairs up and toss a blanket over the top to create a makeshift tunnel for your dog to run under. A broomstick fixed over a couple of buckets or a hula hoop held in your hands can serve as a jump. Teach your pet to propel through obstacles using a hand target, and reward with plenty of praise and treats. Take short breaks between obstacles to do obedience work, such as puppy push-ups. The obedience work will keep your pet listening to you and give him a mini workout. As an added bonus, hand targeting allows for additional exercise by getting your pet moving between people for a reward.
It’s never too late to teach your dog or cat new tricks! You must tire them out physically as well as mentally!