Do raindrops keep falling on your pet’s head? Are you struggling to come up with ways to keep an energetic pet happy, and your furniture in one piece, during these wet and blustery days?

Never fear! Your friends at Union Lake Veterinary Hospital are here with creative and fun indoor activities for pets, sure to keep your pet’s mind and body in peak shape as winter sets in.

The Importance of Indoor Activities for Pets

The benefits of providing indoor activities for pets cannot be understated. A boring indoor environment can lead to a variety of problems, including destructive behavior, anxiety, aggression, and depression. Your pet needs plenty of exercise, enriching activities, and time spent with you to keep them happy and healthy.

And for an added bonus, these activities may also be fun for bored kids who are stuck inside on gloomy days.

Fun and Games

Just because it’s wet outside doesn’t mean your pet has to give up their favorite games. Classics like fetch and tug-of-war can be played indoors, provided you have a little bit of space.

  • Throw a ball up and down the stairs for a calorie-burning workout
  • Clear a spot in the living room for a raucous game of tug, laser pointer, or feather chase
  • Toss a crumpled up piece of paper down the hallway to provide hours of fun for an energetic kitty

With games like laser pointer where your pet can’t catch the light, be sure to end on a positive with a reward to avoid leaving your pet frustrated.

Exercise for the Mind

Having interesting things to do is important for our pets’ mental well-being. Try a food or treat puzzle, or simply make your pet work for their dinner by hiding little bits of kibble throughout the home for them to find. Other brain games include:

  • The shell game – Hide a treat under one of three cups while your pet is watching, then shuffle the cups around and encourage your pet to find the treat. This game can be geared towards both dogs and cats. If your cat isn’t food motivated, try using a ball or other enticing play item instead of a treat.
  • Trick training – There are plenty of simple tricks you can teach your pet in one afternoon, such as “Roll over”, “Shake”, and “Hug”.
  • Agility training – Active dogs and their owners get a kick out of agility training. Check out our challenging and exciting Dog Agility Training packages offered at Union Lake Pet Services. If your dog isn’t ready for agility training, you can still take time each day to brush up on obedience training at home, or with one of our obedience classes. Training is a great way for your pet to use their brain and form a stronger bond with you.

A Day Out

Social pets can derive huge benefits from organized playdates, or from a trip to our one-acre doggie daycare campus. You can also grab your pet’s leash and head to a local pet store for a little shopping and to see the sights.

Get Outside Anyway!

These late fall and early winter days can be brutal on our bodies and spirits, making it easy to want to stay inside where it’s warm (and where the couch and Netflix are located). Many dogs don’t mind the rain or snow, so throw on a waterproof coat for your pup and head out into the neighborhood. Just be sure to keep a towel by the door and thoroughly dry your dog before coming in.

What is your pet’s favorite indoor game? Let us know the next time we see your pet for a wellness exam. Please call Union Lake Veterinary Hospital with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your pet.