Lockdown is a strange time for humans and animals. Many pets are going to find their whole routine has changed and suddenly their owners are at home with them all the time.
While this can be a good thing it is also important that we remember at some point things will have to go back to normal.
You may have less time to exercise them because you are working from home, or not confident in enough to want to go out or perhaps you are shielding and cannot go out.
Sleeping & Relaxation
It’s also important to be careful during the hotter days. Keep your pet safe in the summer. They can be distressed by the heat and they probably will be more interested in looking for a cosy place in the house where they can relax under the shadow.
Don’t force them going for a walk or play outside if this is the case. Relaxing time is as important as playing time for them.
So, here are some great ideas to keep your pets entertained during the lockdown.
For your dogs, it is all about working the brain. While physical activity is great and very necessary, on the odd occasion that this cannot happen using their brain is also a great way to tire them out.
How about a search and find a game where you hide some of their favourite treats around the house and let them go find them?
You can also make a smaller version of this by placing treats under plastic cups and encouraging them to work out how to release the treat by tipping the cup over.
We have also been blessed with some pretty phenomenal weather during lockdown so frozen treats are a great way to cool your pet down and keep them entertained.
At the most basic level, you can just freeze water and let them play with ice cubes or you can freeze things into the water such as raw carrot, dog-safe fruits and berries and other small treats.
This is also a great opportunity to work on obedience and teach your dog tricks. If they have ‘sit and stay’ down pat, then why not try rollover or sit up and beg.
It has also been shown that dogs can learn the names of certain objects, so teach them to fetch things like ‘ball’, ‘squeezy’ or ‘teddy’ from their toy box and bring it to you.
It is not just dogs that enjoy the extra time to play with their owners, cats also love a good game or two. In the evenings a game of following the torchlight can help to exercise your cat and it entertaining to watch.
Cats love to do their own thing. They can be entertained by sleeping in empty boxes or scratching your brand new furniture. But they also deserve a nice treat now and them.
And it doesn’t matter if you have a playful wild cat or a sleepy house one, you can find a toy that matches any pet’s style here at The Pet Empire.
Be careful with red laser pen lights as these can damage eyesight so it is much safer to just use a torch.
Many cats will play with a ball, but you need to make sure that these are size appropriate, and many cat toy balls come with bells inside to hold the cat’s attention.
Remember cats are natural hunters and small things that move are of great interest to them. Some people report that they can clicker train their cat to be rewarded with treats for simple tricks like come here and high five.
The bottom line is that there is no wrong way to entertain your pet during lockdown but do remember that if you are going to go back to work once this is over, it is helpful to have some time out away from your pet during the day so that you don’t have issues with separation anxiety once normality resumes.
*This is a collaborative post