It may seem our pets don’t need as much stimulation as us. They don’t need tv, movies, sports, or lots of social time to be happy. However, they do get bored like us and boredom can lead to destruction, whining, or depression. Aside from needing food, water, shelter, and love, our pets also need play time, activities, and entertainment to be content.
Here are 6 tips to keeping your friends happy:
1: Engage in games with your pet. Dogs may like a good game of fetch, hamsters might like finding treats in a toy, and cats like to hunt and chase things. Games can also teach your pets impulse control and strengthen the bond between you and them.
2: If your dog experiences anxiety or the weather is still too cold, too snowy, and too rough to spend time on long walks, try a puzzle toy. Puzzle toys are great ways to keep your pup occupied for a few minutes a day. They have to figure out how to get the food or treats out of it and it’ll get their brain moving. Cats, rabbits, and hamsters also benefit from puzzles.
3: Move! Get your pet moving. Play a game of chase, get out that laser pointer, or toss a treat for them to run after and eat.
4: When you’re not home, make sure your pet has an activity. Granted, many of our pets probably sleep while we are gone, they do have moments when they wake up to a noise and may stay awake wondering where we are. They also have very good internal clocks and know when we’re coming home. Cats may need a few of their furry chase toys left out. A dog may want his favorite plush toy. Your other critters may need their chew sticks or little balls to roll around.
5: Teach your pet a new trick! Cats and dogs are quick learners and a new trick keeps their brain sharp and if they’re lucky, their bellies full of treats!
6: Don’t forget a few minutes a day of some TLC. Grooming, petting, hugging, and cuddling with your pet makes them happy, reduces your stress, and keeps everyone warm on these chilly winter nights.