Don’t let any rainy, stormy weather be an excuse for not giving your pet some healthy exercise: Here are three fun indoor games for cats and dogs! The Carriage Crossing Animal Hospital professionals recommend that you play a little every day to bond with your pet and build muscle and run off excess energy! Your pet will love you for it.
- Fetch: Use soft toys to protect their teeth and your home. Get your pet’s attention and throw the ball or toy a couple of feet away. When he reaches the toy, praise him. As soon as he puts the toy in his mouth, take a few steps away while calling him to you. As your pet begins to approach, continue offering praise. When he reaches you, give the command “release” and show him a treat. Most dogs and cats will trade the toy for a goody. Repeat this sequence, each time throwing the toy a little farther and stop giving treats after a few trips.
- Hide and seek for dogs: This is similar to fetch but without throwing. Show your dog a favorite toy. Lead your dog into another room while you hide the toy from your dog’s view. Make the hiding place obvious at first, like the toy peeking out from under a pillow. You may have to help your dog find the toy the first couple of tries. When your dog finds the toy, praise and give a kibble of food. Hide the toy in progressively more challenging places as the game continues. This game is so fun you won’t need food after a couple of rounds.Hide and seek for cats: Use a flashlight or laser pointer (be careful not to shine a laser pointer directly at your cat to avoid eye injury) to shine a spot on the floor in front of your cat. Wiggle the light to get your cat’s attention. Move the light from floor to wall, and all around. When the cat is chasing the light with excitement, you can turn off the light, then reposition to shine it in an unexpected place. Wiggle the light to catch your cat’s attention again, and the chase is back on!
- Follow the leader: Show your dog or cat a favorite toy and call her to you. Walk around your house with your pet following you. You can speed up, slow down, add a surprise treat of kibble, the game can last as long as you and your pet have the energy to play!