Indoor Enrichment Ideas for Pets During the Winter
When the weather outside becomes too cold and snowy, it can be tough to find ways to entertain your pet indoors. Spice up their exercise routine with the following fun interactive games and toys to help your furry pal beat the winter blues.
#1: Create a wish list of your pet’s favorite items
Family and friends may want to shower your pet with all manner of toys and treats. Guide their shopping toward items that will prove enriching and entertaining for your pet. Some ideas include:
● Food and treat puzzles
● Interactive toys (e.g., robotic mouse, ball launcher)
● Long-lasting chews
● Stuffable treat holders
● App-controlled treat dispensers
● Orthopedic foam bed or air mattress for joint pain relief
● Winter jackets
● Paw wash to protect paws from snow, ice, and salt
● Scheduling playdates to keep your pets socialized
Rotate your pet’s toys on a daily or weekly basis to keep them interested in “new” items. This also will help you see which toys your pet prefers so you can incorporate more of them into their toy rotation to stave off winter boredom.
#2: Design an indoor agility course
With shortened daylight hours, it can be difficult to squeeze in outdoor exercise during the winter. Prevent your pet from packing on the pounds by giving them an exhilarating experience with an indoor agility course. Even your cat can be trained to complete a short circuit. Use furniture and items around your home to design jumps, weave poles, and obstacles to crawl through or under.
#3: Craft homemade treat puzzles
Is food one of your pet’s greatest joys in life? If so, it can be tempting to toss them tons of extra treats in the winter to help entertain them. However, obesity can develop quickly from those additional calories. Make your four-legged friend work for their snacks by hiding them in a treat puzzle. While there are many commercial products available, you can craft your own using cardboard boxes and tubes, crumpled paper, plastic water bottles, fabric scraps, and other recyclable materials.
Inadequate physical and mental stimulation can lead to a host of medical and behavioral issues in pets. Don’t let the winter weather turn your pet’s boredom into excessive grooming, inappropriate elimination, or other problems. With a little bit of thought and creativity, you can keep them entertained until outdoor conditions improve.