This last year has been a wild one for many, many reasons. For most of us that’s meant staying indoors. With that, has come the unfortunate tendency to live even more sedentary lives than we did in the past. No shade if that’s you! It’s totally understandable! As we see the light at the end of the tunnel, many are experiencing that excitement to get back out there, living life. Think about how this inactivity has made you feel… now look at your pet? Are they getting their best life? Keeping your pet active throughout their lives is a crucial piece in ensuring they are happy, healthy, and living for a long time yet to come!
Best Ways to Keep Your Pet Active
This probably goes without saying but we’re going to say it anyways. Walks! Walks are so good for your pet and you! A half hour walk a day gets you and your pets hearts pumping, blood flowing, and limbs moving, together! And it’s something you can still do as we continue working through COVID. Some cats enjoy walks too (just be careful to use a harness they can’t easily slip out of.
A good walk goes a long way to keeping your pet healthy, happy, and active.
Training for simple tricks might not be the most active of active things, but it still gets your pet’s brain an body working. Teaching them basic commands (with treats as a reward!) will have them being mentally active, and it will build a better bond between you and your pet.
Teach your pet the word ‘toy’ while training them, this will come up later just wait.
Hide Their Toys
Hiding your pets toys will do a few things. One, it will have them running around the house searching for it. Two, it plays of their natural instincts to hunt and seek things out. Finding their toy will be particularly rewarding for them! And all you have to do is hide a toy under a pillow or behind the couch, call out for their toy and get them searching!
Tug of War
A classic of kids and pets alike! Dogs love playing tug of war with a rope, rag, or blanket. Just make sure they know what is an acceptable thing to play tug of war with, and what should they avoid. Playing tug of war is a great way to burn up energy, and strengthen their jaws. Just be careful and avoid if your pet is suffering from tooth decay or other jaw trouble. They’ll still want to play with you but the pain and damage that could occur isn’t worth it!
A Shell Game
Here’s an easy way to puzzle your pup’s mind and get them thinking! Take your pet’s favorite treat and place it under a plastic cup. Have two other identical plastic cups (party cups work great!) and mix the three of them around. Now let your pet find the treat. It’s a simple little game, and chances are your pet’s nose will find the treat fast, but even this little bit of challenge will keep stimulating them.
If you don’t want to use the cup method, there are a number of treat games out there that you can get for your pet.
Build a Playground in Your Home
Grab some old boxes, move some chairs and empty bottles, and just about anything else around your house to create a pet playground for them to enjoy! Make spots to jump through, crawl under, and run past. Cats will love a box fort to jump into as well!
And of course, make sure you’re not using anything sharp or dangerous!
Just like people, pets can get anxious when they’re bored or missing out on activity. The best way to help keep their bodies and minds engaged is to play with them regularly, give them the exercise they need to stay fit and healthy, and shower them with attention! Your pet will thank you!