Fighting Cabin Fever
For our pets, winter could be the worst time of the year. They’re often stuck inside (just like we are) with minimal options for entertainment. If you’ve got a young animal, this could spell trouble. We've got some recommendations to help keep your pet both physically and mentally active during those long stretches of indoor time.
Keeping Your Dogs Busy
When winter comes, it can be hard for us to go on long walks, throw balls, or play outside with our dogs. The wind is cold, the ground is wet, and we don’t like muddy paw prints on our carpets. Yet, it’s important to make sure that our dogs are active and entertained during the winter months.
Puzzle Toys For Fido
One of the easiest ways to keep your dog entertained is by using puzzle toys and treat balls to break up the boredom of the day. Treat dispensers like wobblers, are a great way to give your dog play time without being too heavily involved yourself. Depending on the level of activity and size of your dog, it might even be reasonable to feed your dog from a wobbler during the winter months.
Dogs are pretty smart, so when Fido becomes a pro at one puzzle toy, hide it away for a few months. You can bring it back out when they’ve forgotten, and it’ll be like a brand new toy for them. Rotating out your puzzle toys like this is a great way to keep your dogs engaged during slower months.
Hide & Seek
Another, more involved way to keep your dog stimulated and active during the winter months is to play hide and seek. You can play with a special hide and seek toy like this one, where you stuff smaller, squeaky toys into a larger container that your dog then digs around in. If your dog tires easily of the hide and seek toy, you could also play hide and seek for real with your dog.
To organize a game of hide and seek, make your dog sit outside of a room and show them one of their favorite toys. Order them to stay (or have a friend hold them), and then go place the toy somewhere in the room. When you’re ready, release them and tell them to “go find it” -- you may have to help them at first. Most dogs love the game after just a few tries.
Keeping Your Cats Busy
Although indoor cats are generally lazy year-round, it’s good to keep them stimulated and engaged as well. You can use many of the same types of games and toys that you would use with a dog, with your cat. For example, there are many different types of Treat Dispensing and Puzzle Toys for cats. The only difference, is that you probably wouldn’t try to feed your cat from a wobbler toy.
High Tech Cat Toys
If you need something a little more robust to keep your cat engaged, consider one of a few electronic toys. There are automatic lasers and concealed motor toys that will engage your cat’s hunter reflexes before they even know it. These toys will drive your cat up a wall (literally, in the case of a laser toy) and tire them out for the day.
Just be sure that when your cat is playing with an electronic toy, that you are supervising them. Accidents do occasionally happen, and we want your kitty to be safe!
Good Ol’ Fashioned Wands & Kickers
If electronic toys don’t appeal to your cat, a fifteen-minute play session just might. Use the time when you would be walking your dog or taking a stroll in the summer weather to play with your cat instead!
The Go Cat Da Bird Wand is an irresistible wand toy for your hunter-in-training. If your cat is an attack-and-conquer sort of cat, a large kicker toy might be more his style. Whatever your cat fancies, make sure to play with them at least once a day to keep them healthy and happy throughout their nine lives!