Its wintertime Webbox fans and that means it’s time to put on your woolliest jumper, grab your hot chocolate and prepare for cold weather!
But while it’s easy for you to hibernate yourself indoors until the snow goes away, it’s not as easy for your furry friend to do the same. Dogs and cats are naturally energetic creatures, and they will struggle to manage with being cooped up inside all day with all that energy. So, to help keep your furbaby active and entertained, here are a few fun activities for you both to take part in.
Sniff & Seek
Games that require your pet to use their mind and their nose are great for tiring them out. When your pet is using their senses as well as their body, you’re mentally tiring them out and helping them practice and hone their natural skills. That’s why a fun game of ‘sniff and seek’ might be the thing your curious pet needs to get their mind working.
Grab some treats and have your pet watch as you place them around the room. Then, give your pet cues to “find the treats” and encourage them to pick the treat up. Remember to praise your pet once they’ve found the treats and remind them that they’ve done a good job. Once you’re confident that your pet understands what “find the treat” means, then you can start to challenge them. Have them stay in another room as you hide the treats, then let them in to use their nose to find the treats themselves.
Teach Your Pet a New Trick
What better time for your furry friend to learn a new trick than when he/she’s cooped up inside with nothing to do? There’s always a new trick for your pet to learn, whether it’s something simple and classic like rollover or shake a paw or something more difficult like bringing you an item. You can even try teaching tricks that will help you finish chores around the house, such as bringing items and opening/closing doors.
Shell Game - Dog
Another game that helps get your furbaby’s brain working, the shell game is well known but not the first activity you’d think of to play with your dog. But it’s perfect for mental stimulation and improving your pet’s problem-solving skills. To play the game, simply let your dog watch you place a treat in one of three cups. Rearrange the cups and then encourage your pet to use their memory and find the treat.
Fetch – Cat
While fetch is usually seen as a dog game, cats can get just as much enjoyment from this game as well. While it may be tricky for them to learn the game at first, but with enough practice, your feline friend will have the hang of it in no time. Using treats will also help them learn the rules of the game as well. Always make sure to throw the toy or treat within range of their eyesight, or using catnip or a strong-smelling treat for a scented trail for them to follow.
Tug of War - Dog
A simple game of tug of war is perfect for engaging with your pet in meaningful play. Not only is it a great game to play indoors, as it doesn’t require a lot of room, it’s also a great way to physically exercise your dog. Also, this game has other benefits, as owners who play tug of war with their dog have found them to be more obedient and have higher confidence. Make sure to let your furry friend win now and then, as it will make the game more fun for your dog and will encourage them to play more.
Laser/Reflection Chasing - Cat
While they’re flashy and fun for us humans for a bit, eventually we get tired of laser pens. Cats, however, can’t get enough of chasing those red dots around the room. You can just keep your cat busy by making him follow the dot at random, or you can make patterns for him to follow and memorise. Also, if you are in a larger room with a lot of space, having your cat follow the dot around the room is a great way of giving your furry friend some exercise.