As days grow shorter and colder, it may be necessary to keep pets indoors for their safety and comfort. A pet that is used to being outdoors, however, may become stressed and bored inside, which can lead to mood changes, destructive behavior, and poor health. Fortunately, there are great ways to keep dogs and cats happily entertained indoors.
Entertaining Dogs Indoors
Dogs can be rambunctious and energetic, but with the proper toys and activities, they can be easily entertained when they can't be outside. To keep an indoor dog happy and active…
- Opt for food-dispensing puzzle toys that require the dog to manipulate the toy and work out the puzzle before receiving the treat.
- Rotate indoor toys regularly and choose a wide variety of different toys to minimize boredom and keep the dog interested.
- Hide small treats or kibble around the house for the dog to use its natural tracking instincts to hunt down a snack.
- Use indoor time for new training or work to refresh a dog's training of basic commands and familiar activities.
- Arrange a doggie play date with another pet, or else consider getting a second dog so pets will always have companionship.
- Create a warm nap place the dog will know as its own, giving it a safe and comfortable place to retreat when it gets worn out.
Entertaining Cats Indoors
Cats are independent pets, but even their wily minds can lack stimulation if they are indoors all the time. To keep an indoor cat entertained…
- Plant a few pots with catnip or cat grass to bring a bit of the outdoors in no matter what the weather may be.
- Choose an elaborate scratching post or kitty condo that includes different levels, textures, and cubbies for cats to explore.
- Set up a place on a wide windowsill or near a large window for cats to watch outdoors, especially if there are bird feeders or other activity to see.
- Hide several treats around the house and allow the cat to sharpen their hunting instincts while they find the savory bits.
- Offer a range of toys for cats to play with, but rotate toys regularly for variety and ongoing interest.
- Play cat-friendly videos with nature settings, bird songs, rodent action, and other scenes that will interest cats.
The Most Important Indoor Activity
The most important thing any pet owner can do to keep their dog or cat entertained indoors is to spend plenty of one-one-one time playing with the pet. Grooming, games, or just petting and cuddles will all help strengthen the pet-owner bond and keep the animal happy and content, no matter how long it must be indoors.