Dizzy from walking your pet around the same block everyday?By Morgan | April 7, 2020
Try our top 10 fun activities to keep your pet entertained and healthy
Humans aren’t the only ones that can be affected by the quarantine lockdown – spending a long period of time indoors can take a toll on the mental and physical health of your pets too. It is important to keep them stimulated as much as you can, so we came up with a list of our 10 favourite activities to keep your pets mentally and physically fit. You can do as many of these as you like with your pets – we hope that you will benefit too!
1. Pet toys, balls or socks – whatever you’ve got, get your pet to fetch it
Even though it’s a common way to play with your pet inside, playing fetch in a hallway or large room is still a fun way to get your pet active. It’s a useful way to train basic obedience tricks such as staying, sitting, dropping and lying down. Whatever you’ve got at your disposal can be used as a fetch toy – be creative, your pet will enjoy it.
2. Build a mini obstacle course to get them going
Make room in your lounge, garage or backyard and build a mini obstacle course. Look around your home and see what items you’ve got that can be turned into obstacles for your pet. Hula hoops are perfect for your pet to jump through, brooms can become something they need to crawl underneath and spare bottles or book stacks are the best objects for your pet to weave through. Keep your pet’s time scores and make a pet-olympics!
3. Patience is a virtue – practice your pet’s impulse control
Developing your pet’s impulse control is just as important as having them learn tricks – if not more important. It helps them remain patient at feeding time and calm down when their energy levels are too high. A popular method we like is using treats and your hands. Place one treat in each of your hands, but hold one closed fist out in front of your pet. As they start to lick and rub their nose against your fist – don’t give in and open your hand – wait for them to stop begging, this is where they begin to learn impulse control.
Once your dog can sit still and resist the treat, reward them with a treat from your other hand. Now repeat again, except this time slowly open your fist once your pet remains calm and ignores the treat. If your dog rushes towards your hand, close it back up again. Good luck!
4. Create a ‘scent puzzle’ so they can sniff out treats
Stimulate your pet’s brain and get them moving with a ‘scent puzzle’. Start off by placing treats in random spots around your home and garden where your pet will be able to sniff them out with their nose. With your pet away from you, place some treats in plain view and call them to you – they’ll happily eat the treats and will start looking for more.
Repeat this process but this time put some treats in a slightly less obvious place, such as under the sofa or coffee table. As your pet searches, you’ll notice them sniffing for the scent rather than looking for their treat. As your pet gets the idea that they’ve got to sniff out their treats, you can get creative with hiding the treats in different locations.
5. All dogs can learn new tricks – teach them something new
Ever wanted to teach your pet a certain trick but never found the time? Well in quarantine, you may find you happen to have a bit more spare time on your hands. If your dog already knows simple tricks such as shaking hands, then try something more a little more advanced such as playing dead, rolling over or standing on their hind legs. There are many online resources that can provide step-by-step instructions and handy tips.
6. Get the kids involved and play hide & seek
Everyone enjoys a fun game of hide and seek – and so do your pets! Just have someone distract your pet while you sneak off into another room for them to find you. The reward can be their favourite treat or a big cuddle. If this can keep kids entertained for hours, you may as well get your pets involved and perhaps you might just get a chance to relax!
7. Try dog yoga – both you and your pup can attempt the ‘downward dog’
Yes, you read that right. ‘Doga’ is a modified version of yoga with exercises designed for you and your dog – as long as you’re patient. Focussed on massage and stretching, Doga can help your dog become calmer and allows you to bond with your pet. Have a look on Google to find out more.
8. Start an Instagram for your pet and get them instafamous
Another fun activity is to create an Instagram account for your pet. Uploading photos throughout the day allows you to get your creative juices flowing, as well as a way to bond with your pet. Many websites have competitions and daily challenges you can be a part of – sometimes there are prizes for the best dressed pet or the pet in the most hilarious pose.
9. Get trendy and play the hilarious ‘Shell Game’
YouTube really is a place to find anything – a trending game we found is called the ‘Shell Game’. This fun problem-solving game is played by placing a treat under one of three cups and rearranging them while your cat or dog watches and tries to guess the right cup. Give it a go and see if your pet can keep up!
10. Keep an eye on them during this uncertain time
This is an important time to monitor your pet and make sure they are staying healthy. Have you noticed bad breath? Have their eating habits changed? Little changes can often be hard to notice but spending more time at home gives you the opportunity to keep up to date on their health and wellbeing. Quarantine restrictions make it hard to see a vet but if you have any concerns or need a visit from a vet, download the Vets on Call mobile app. With the app you can book an appointment with an experienced and qualified veterinarian who will come straight to your door or online via video consultation.
This makes it convenient and easy for pet owners to ensure they are taking the best care of their pets without the need to leave the comfort of their home.
Download the Vets on Call app today for Android and iPhone to experience stress-free high-quality vet care without ever having to step outside.