As the cold and dark weather settles in our pets often get less outdoor playtime, so finding ways to keep their brains stimulated indoors becomes a priority. When venturing outside is not an option due to harsh weather conditions, there are plenty of stimulating activities and fun games you can try to ensure your pets remain happy, healthy and engaged within the cosy confines of home.
Here are our 8 recommendations on how to keep your pets stimulated and active during unpleasant weather conditions this winter.
1. Invest in some Interactive Toys and Puzzles
Interactive toys and puzzles designed to engage your pets mentally and physically have many health benefits. Puzzle feeders for dogs and treat-dispensing toys for cats are excellent choices for keeping them mentally stimulated for some time. These toys encourage problem-solving skills while providing a fun challenge, despite having to stay indoors due to harsh weather.
2. Create a DIY Indoor Obstacle Course
Set up an indoor obstacle course using household items such as pillows, cardboard boxes, hula hoops, cones and tunnels for your pets to navigate. Guide them through the course using treats or toys as motivation. This activity not only promotes physical exercise and mental stimulation, but you also get to spend quality time with your pets which will keep them happy and healthy overall.
3. Play Hide and Seek
Engage your pets in a game of hide and seek. Hide their favourite toys or treats around the house and encourage them to find these hidden treasures. This game stimulates their sense of smell and keeps them mentally active. If you’re feeling up to it, why not play with them yourself and find a place to hide around the house? Putting time aside for playtime will not only keep your pets engaged, but it’ll also bring them joy by giving them your time and attention.
4. Play Indoor Fetch or Catch
Play a modified version of fetch or catch indoors using soft toys or lightweight balls. This activity helps burn off excess energy while reinforcing bonding and coordination skills with your pets.
5. Schedule time for Training Sessions
Engage in training sessions with your pets to teach them new tricks or reinforce existing commands. Use positive reinforcement techniques like treats or praise to encourage the behaviour.
6. Invest in some Interactive Feeding
Consider using interactive feeding devices or slow feeders for meals. This not only slows down eating but also turns mealtime into a mentally stimulating activity for pets. You can easily find the appropriate food dispenser for your pets online to keep them mentally engaged.
7. Rotate Toys and Activities
Keep things fresh by regularly rotating toys and activities. Introduce new toys, switch up the arrangement of obstacles in the indoor course, or vary the games to prevent boredom and maintain interest from your pets.
8. Entertain pets with Music and TV Time
Play calming music or pet-specific TV programs designed to entertain and relax pets. Some channels feature visuals and sounds that are appealing to cats and dogs, providing them with entertainment.
Winter weather doesn’t have to mean a lack of stimulation and activity for your pets. By implementing these indoor activities, toys and games, you can ensure that your furry companions stay mentally engaged, physically active and content during the colder months. Remember, each pet is unique, so observe their preferences and tailor activities to suit their individual needs for a happy and healthy indoor lifestyle.