A puppy playing on the floor

When we have relied heavily on outdoor time with our pet, it may be hard to come up with interesting things for them to do when it is too chilly to go out. Indoor activities for your pet are important for giving them the exercise and enrichment they need to thrive. 

Don’t let the winter blues get to you and your pet. Stay engaged and active through these fun indoor activities brought to you by your team at Animal Medical Hospital and 24 Hour Urgent Care.

Indoor Games for Dogs

It’s essential to understand more about your pet’s preferred style of fun before deciding on some choices in activities. Look to your pet’s breed, health, energy level, and so on to determine which of these awesome games work for them.

  1. Indoor fetch – Retrieving a toy is something most dogs like to do, but it can be too rowdy for inside, right? Actually, no! Move furniture back in a living room or den, or use a long hallway to toss a soft toy for your dog. This is a high energy game that is easily adapted to indoor play.
  2. Tug games – Tugging gets your dog’s entire body into the movement and is a great option for indoor exercise. Choose a sturdy rope toy or durable canvas toy to get your dog into the game.
  3. Tricks – Teaching your dog new tricks can pass the time on cold days. Spice it up with some advanced tricks such as roll over, jump over an obstacle, sit up, dance, and bow. This can be a great boon to any other training methods you are using.
  4. Puzzles and snuffle matsTreat dispensing puzzles are a good choice for your dog when you have to work and want them to stay engaged in an activity. Fillable treats like Kong toys can also be a great choice for wiling away some hours and pent up energy, as well as other chews like the Nylabone. Snuffle mats give your dog a chance to sniff through their normal meal through the use of a felt based mat, which decreases anxiety in many canines.

Great Games for Indoor Cats

Most cats spend the majority of their time inside, which is much safer. But because of this, they too need plenty of creative ways to engage in exercise. Here are a few favorites.

  1. Mock hunting – Cats are adept hunters and enjoy the stalking and bouncing that comes with this natural drive. Give your cat some catnip filled mice or try one of the robotic toys that look like rodents, fish, or other prey animals. 
  2. Swatting – Feathers on a string as well as the Cat Dancer make for a high energy expenditure for your curious cat. Swatting is another natural instinct for your kitty, so all toys suspended on wires and strings are great for them (as long as they are supervised).
  3. Climbing – Cats need to climb, as you may have guessed from their attempts at scaling curtains, book cases, and the tops of counters. Add some cat trees, platforms, window perches, and other standalone and wall mounted surfaces for your cat to scale.
  4. Interactive games – Interactive games, such as using a laser pointer for your cat to chase, are a great way to bond with your furry one. After all, playtime is so much better with you!

Other Ideas for Indoor Activities for Your Pet

Many pets don’t get the extra attention from their owners when they are busy at work or traveling. Consider using a professional pet sitter to come in and offer exercise and attention while you are away. Many dogs enjoy doggie daycare (when they’ve been vaccinated and socialized, of course) since this gives them the interaction from other puppy peers they need.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to activities you can do indoors with your four-legged friend. For more information on great indoor activities for pets, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us.