We all get a little antsy when we’re cooped up for the winter. Pets feel the same way! Their energy can’t be released and sometimes they get bored. This boredom sometimes results in misbehavior from your pet. Luckily, we have some tips and activities that you can do with your pet to keep them occupied!
New Tricks & Training
Have you been wanting to teach your pet a new trick or command? Having extra free time in the winter is a great way to begin something new! Fun tricks like playing dead or jumping through a hoop can be an exciting option for your pet that are easy enough to be learned indoors. Be sure to use plenty of treats to keep their attention!
Training a new command can also be a way to keep your pet busy in the cold months. If your dog has a habit that you’ve been wanting to break, now is a great time to teach them! Patience is key when training so keep your head up. Dogs are smart animals and will pick up on commands as long as you are consistent.
Puzzle feeders are a fun, interactive toy that can keep your pet’s interest for quite some time. From a pet owner’s perspective, it’s fun to watch and actually entertaining for you, too! It’s cool to see how your pet’s brain functions and how they figure out the toy. Some of our favorites are the Dock Brick Puzzle Toy created by Outward Hound and the SmartyPaws Puzzler created by Zippy Paws. Place treats (or even Ultimates kibble!) in the specified holes and watch your pup figure out the puzzle.
Stuffable toys are another way to keep your pets busy indoors. A more popular option is stuffing a Kong with peanut butter or even placing wet food inside and placing it into the freezer. Treat stuffing toys are also another fun option to give your pet. Simply fill the toy with treats and let your pet explore and play until the treats pop out. Here is an idea of a Treat Tumble toy.
If you have a tug rope, this is a great way to physically and mentally stimulate your dog’s mind and body. This activity doesn’t require too much room to play so doing it indoors is perfect during the winter. Some assume that playing tug will make your dog aggressive, but this isn’t true. Be sure to let your dog know when you are being serious and are done playing. Letting them “win” a few times will keep them begging for more.
Doggie Play Dates
If the winter weather hasn’t caused too many road hazards, consider setting up a play date with a friend’s pet. Socialization is great for pets – including cats! Being able to express some of their energy can prepare them for a good, long nap. Be sure to provide plenty of fresh, clean water for your pets while playing. They will be hungry too after the play date so fill up their bowl with yummy Ultimates kibble!
It may be hard to fully engage your pet during the winter months, but doing some of the activities listed above can help. Try some of these options out and enjoy the cozy indoor days together!