Here are four easy ways to keep your pets entertained inside and outside so they can shake off that extra energy and you can get your work done at the same time.
It’s that time of year again where the winter seems longer than we anticipated. The cold wind, wet snow, and inclement weather makes us animal caregivers want to stay inside snuggling with our pets. However, our pups don’t always have those same thoughts. Some dogs love the snow. Some dogs hate the snow. (Don’t forget we have pet safe ice melt too.) Either way, there are plenty of ways to keep your pets entertained inside and outside so they can shake off that extra energy.
1. Supervised Play For Dogs
If you have some other pups in the neighborhood, at a local park, or training center where the pups can have supervised playtime, this can be a great way to burn off the zoomies. Social play is good for dogs where they can wrestle, hang out, and well, just be dogs. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we realize this may not be an option for everyone because of social distancing protocols.
2. Interactive Toys & Games For Dogs & Cats
Playtime isn’t for every dog. If your dog doesn’t play nice with others, you may want to try some at home options such as puzzle games, snuffle mats, licki mats, and treasure hunts. I love treasure hunts for our cats. Leash walking your cat in the winter isn't fun for anyone. Instead, I create a fun hunt inside the house. I use freeze-dried treats and hide them in the cat trees, on the window sill, on the dresser, in the bookshelf, and any other place where our cats would jump to find a treat. Licki mats are a great option to help with boredom and stress. Peanut butter or frozen products are fun to incorporate for your dog or cat to lick all the fun treats. We also use interactive toys, feeders, and puzzles to keep the cats entertained. Some of the same puzzle toys you would use for your canines, can also be used for felines. Depending on the skill level of your pet, you may need to work alongside them the first few times for them to understand the puzzle before being on their own. Interactive toys and hunts provide good mental stimulation for your pet which helps keep the mind sharp.
3. Natural Chews For Dogs
Raw bones and chews are also a good alternative to keep your dog busy. Raw bones come in different shapes and sizes. Dogs need to chew, it’s just on occasion they chew the wrong things in the house. Chewing can be calming and relaxing. Many times a 30-minute chew session can be long enough to get your dog to take a long afternoon nap. For small dogs, we have small marrow bones and fermented chicken feet. For medium size dogs, we have medium-sized marrow bones, lamb femurs, and fermented pigs feet. For large breed dogs, we have large marrow bones and split knucklebones. We also carry many non-frozen chews that are long-lasting. Earth Animal No-Hides, ZiwiPeak venison shank bones, Barking Buddha beef cheek rolls, and RedBarn bully rings are just a few options. Chews can be just what you need during that zoom meeting to keep them entertained.
4. Frozen & Crunchy Treats For Dogs & Cats
Frozen treats are also a good alternative if you are out of ideas or your dog gets bored easily. You can level up with a refined brain game by refreezing goat milk, bone broth, or Steve’s Enhance goat milk yogurt into a cup or interactive toy. For an added bonus you could add frozen fruit or chew into the frozen mix. For quick crunchy chews, you could give your dog zucchini sticks, cucumber sticks, kale ribs, or celery sticks straight from your refrigerator. The possibilities are endless when making your pup their favorite frozen treat.
Just like humans, I feel like cats and dogs get spring fever. When the spring sun hits and the temperature starts to warm, we all want to be outside more and soaking up the fresh air. Chews and interactive toys can be used year-round but they definitely get more use during the winter months when we want to stay inside.