If you were hit last week with the winter storms, you and your pet are probably experiencing some cabin fever. Or maybe you’re too tired to go out and do anything after shoveling and digging out your car. Your pet, however, is probably wondering what the deal is and why you guys aren’t going for your long walks, romps in the park, or even allowed in the yard for more than a few minutes.
So you know you can’t go out and burn off energy with your pet the way you did before snowpocalypse set in, and your cat is going nuts and crying and scratching at the back door to go out but then immediately wants to come back in after walking through the white stuff. But after a few minutes, your cat is whining again and your dog is staring at his leash.
You’re looking at the streets and just imagine falling and being dragged on the ice. You imagine frozen fingers, runny nose, and a dog that will have icicles stuck to his fur. If only you could teleport to a warmer place and let your pets run around outside while you sit by a pool, do a crossword, and sip a nice summer drink. Ok, ok, now breathe.
What can you do to make everyone content and keep them from going stir crazy? Try these 6 tips.
1: Winter can be a great time to enroll your dog in classes, agility training, or doggie daycare. If your dog is particularly athletic, things like flyball, lure coursing, and other activities are held inside during cold weather months.
2: Puzzle toys that allow you to place food and treats inside of them can give your pet a mental workout. Chewing, pawing, and teaching your cat and dog new ways to use their brain and skills can keep them occupied for a few minutes everyday and cut down on boredom.
3: Keep a few of your pet’s toys out and rotate them every few days so they seem “new.” Play with your dog and cat for at least 15 minutes a day to keep their spirits up. It’ll also reduce stress and help you too!
4: If your pets are starting to follow you from room to room more than usual, turn it into a game of tag. Jog up and down the stairs with them, take advantage of their behavior and have them chase you.
5: If you exercise in the house, your pet may get excited and want to interact with you. If it’s a Wii game, your dog might start dancing around with you and wagging his tail with excitement. Turn it into play with him. Your cat might just stare at you like you’re nuts.
6: Keep your pet active, even if it is a quick walk, jog them or have them bound around over the plowed snow. Play with them to get their body moving and keep them warm outside. Just remember, if it’s too cold for you it’s probably too cold for them.