When the weather’s ill, or there’s a pandemic on, you’ll need to find some ways to keep your animals occupied indoors. It’s good for everyone involved and your pets will love the additional effort put into their entertainment. Looking for ideas? Read on.
1. Get a Laser Pointer
Cats and laser pointers go together very well. It’s just a matter of finding one which is safe to use, since many cheap pointers can actually cause damage to a cat’s eye if they’re misaimed.
Once you have an excellent laser pointer, you can let the games begin!
There is one thing to keep in mind: not all cats are cut out for playing with a laser pointer. Some will get anxious afterwards. It’s most likely because they can’t “catch” the red dot.
Other cats will do just fine, however. Many even seem to understand that the human controls the red dot and it’s something that will keep them occupied for hours if you have the patience. Give it a shot, it’s one of the most fun ways to interact with your feline.
2. Indoor Scent Scavenger Hunts
For dogs, the nose is the way to their interest.
You can create a scent trail through the home by dragging a particularly delicious treat and hiding it somewhere the dog can access. They’ll catch on to the trail and find it sooner or later.
Treats or the occasional bit of human food work great for this.
It’s also a great way to reduce separation anxiety in dogs. You can occasionally set up a scent hunt before you leave the home for work and it will keep intelligent dogs occupied for some time.
An occupied dog is one that’s not carefully taste-testing your shores, so it’s a neat trick to have in your tool bag.
3. Learning New Tricks
If you have a canine, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that they can learn a lot more than “sit”, “stay”, and “get out of the garbage can.”
Many breeds are able to learn tricks like opening doors, finding keys, or even picking up their toys. For some doggy utility you can even train them to help you clean up around the home.
It will be a challenge, even with a dog that’s high on the Canine Intelligence Index, but it’s a good way to push both of your mental abilities. It’s also a great way to impress friends.
And, of course, once the dog has learned their new trick you can use it to amaze others. So, spend some of that valuable bonding time issuing some extra training!
4. Tug of War
Tug of war is a time-honored tradition among dog owners. While some people insist it’s not a good idea, the truth is that folks have been doing it forever and the chances of any ill-temper occurring are very low.
Finding the right rope toy is key. Dogs prefer certain colors and it needs to be sturdy enough to stand up to your dog. Most pet stores will have something suitable when you go to take a look.
Dogs love tug of war enough that some people use it as positive reinforcement. Besides, it’s a fun activity for both of you.
5. Puzzle Toys
Need to keep the dog entertained in a relatively hands-off way?
Puzzle toys are your answer. These toys come in dozens of configurations but they all have the same core idea: you put treats in and your dog has to figure out how to get them.
While they’re mostly used for active dogs when people aren’t home, most of us think they’re great to watch
You can readily find these toys online or in pet stores. We recommend picking up a couple of different ones at the same time since your dog is likely to remember how each one works.
But hey, what better way to keep your animal mentally stimulated at home?
6. Online Training Courses
Is your dog not quite ready for fetching a soda from the fridge?
Online courses can be pre-recorded or even an actual classroom environment. In either case, they’re a good way to make sure that your dog is able to keep the basics down. It’s hard to say there’s such a thing as too much obedience training after all.
These courses can be found at sites like Udemy, trainer’s websites, and there are even videos on YouTube for those who aren’t willing to pay for the training.
In any case, it’s a great way to bond with your canine and reinforce their good behavior.
Are You Not Entertained?
It can be a bit challenging to find things to do with your pets indoors. Fortunately, you don’t have to look far to find some excellent activities for both of you. So, don’t let being indoors get you down… just get busy with some indoor entertainment instead!