With new government rules out the majority of pet owners are now having to stay at home. This has upset the routine for many people and their beloved furry friends. Although we are allowed out for one form of exercise a day this just might not be enough for your dog and trying to work from home with a cat sat on your keyboard is not very productive. In this article we will share some tips on ways to entertain the bored beasts in our homes.
For Dog Owners
Your dog may be use to having 2 or 3 walks a day or having play dates with their doggie friends but this is just not safe at the moment, so below we have listed a few ways to help keep your dog occupied and you from pulling your hair out trying to calm them down.
Training - This is probably the best way to ware your dog out without even having to leave your house. There is so many things you can train your dog and anyone can do it. why not start off with something simple like trying to perfect their sit or other basic commands. If you think they have got that down then advance to something a little more difficult such as new tricks like roll over or training them to do agility in the garden or even doing some scent work. You can use food, toys and affection as rewards. If you're concerned about your dog putting on weight with treat you can use their daily food allowance instead.
Play time - This is another way to tire out your dog you can take them into the garden or stay in the house and play with their favourite toys with them, try to spend the same amount of time with your dog as you would usually if you were out on a walk. Keep aside a few toys that you bring out only during play time to make it just that bit more exciting. Try swapping out their usual toys in the house ever couple of days so they don't get bored for what they have.
Fun feeders - Fun feeders are great ways to keep your dog busy for a while. You can use their normal meals or a special treat. There are plenty of different type of fun feeders and puzzles out there, some just slow your dog down, others the dog has to use their brain to work out how to get the food. You can also use toys such as Kongs to stuff with food and the dogs has to lick and bite the toy to get the food out. You can start off making the food easy to get too by using kibble or dried treats then advance to wet food that sticks a bit more, to eventually even freezing the food taking them even longer to get it out. This is also great mental stimulation for your dog.
Hide and seek - try hiding some of their favourite treats and toys around the house and getting them to go around and find them, this will keep your dog busy for a while and is mentally stimulating as they are having to use their different senses.
For Cat Owners
Cats are usually more independent than dogs and like to do their own thing but sometimes doing their own thing can mean they are up to no good. Here are some ways to help keep them out of trouble.
Height - Cats love to explore new places and like to climb up high so they can get a good view on the world. Make sure you give them lots of places they can explore such as cat trees and empty shelves.
Play time - Try to set aside some time to play with your cat everyday. Get their favourite toys out such as the laser pointer or the feather duster whatever it is only bring it out at play time so they don't get bored of it too quickly. Try swapping out the toys they have every couple of days to make them more interesting.
Hide and seek - Hide some of their favourite treats and toys around the house, this should keep them entertained for a while. I do this for my Siamese all the time, they love rounding up all their little mice toys.
Fun feeders - You can also get fun feeders and treat puzzles for cats. Try a treat ball which they have to roll around the get the treats out or even getting gobble bowls just to slow down their usual meals. If you're concerned about you're cats weight then you can always use their usual daily food allowance as treats.
Walks - Walks don't have to be just for dogs, you can take your cat out on specially designed cat harnesses to safely explore the outside world. If you do do this introduce it to the cat very slowly such as starting with wearing the harness without a lead in the house only to eventually build them up to going outside. Remember we can only go out for one lot of exercise a day but you can go into your garden (if you have one) as often as you like.
New toys - like what I said earlier bring out out new toys and changing them out every couple of days is a great way to stop them from getting bored but you can also get new toys such as tunnels or even a cardboard box something they can hide in and do zoomies through. Get creative, maybe even build them a fortress!
I hope some of these tips will help tackle your pets terrible tantrums and keep them busy during these difficult times. You may even get a quick 5 minutes to yourself after doing some of these things. Try to keep to the same routine, where you can, that you would usually have to reduce the stress of your pets. Remember to stay safe and follow the government guidelines. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions regarding pet care. For more information about Covid-19 please visit www.gov.uk