With winter in full force, enjoying time with your furry family members might seem like a distant memory of going for walks in the sun or relaxing in the garden. You’ll likely find that your favourite walks are just too boggy and the ice cold winds at the beach feel more like a punishment for you and your pooch. Your feline friend might even refuse to go out so you’re all cramped indoors with nothing to do.
While staying indoors can sound like absolute bliss when the weather is miserable, it doesn’t mean your pets will be satisfied without burning off some energy. They might be happy with the arrangement at first but throughout the day you will notice them getting more and more restless. If you can’t get out for your regular walks or your kitten is stuck indoors watching the rain instead of doing their usual rounds, you can step in to offer some distraction and burn off some much needed energy.
Entertain them this Winter
Making winter enjoyable is all about seizing the moment. Get out for walks when you can and give your cat the freedom to go out when the weather permits. Weather in the UK can change within a few hours and winter can be wet and stormy so while making the most out of the dry days, it doesn’t hurt to have a plan for when it’s too rough to go outside. Missing one walk or staying in one day might not be catastrophic. Pets often love to cuddle up on the couch with you to watch a film and you can keep each other nice and warm. When this goes on for a few days or if you have a particularly energetic pet that isn’t about the couch potato lifestyle, there are always ways to entertain them.
Indoors cats need exercise all year round and there are some great ideas for keeping them occupied that you can borrow for rainy days.
When you and your canine companion can’t get out for your usual walk, that doesn’t mean you have to stay at home and sulk. If playtime with their friends is an important part of their social activities, you don’t have to take a break over the winter months. You can arrange for play dates over each other’s houses to make sure they still get to see their best pals. You can rotate where you meet to play so you can take it in turns to host the absolute chaos puppy play can be. It will be worth it to get a nice tired pup at the end of it.
If you want to save your carpets, you might be lucky enough to live near an indoor play area that you can take your pup to. Many doggy daycares host indoor play on the weekends when the facility isn’t in use and for a small fee, you can take your pup along to enjoy an hour of play with other canine companions who are desperate to burn off some steam.
A new toy to play with
When you’re stuck indoors, nothing cheers up a pet quite like a new toy! When you’re getting them a toy over the Winter, you may need to pick something that’s indoor appropriate. It’s no good getting your pooch a new ball to play fetch when you only have the width of the living room to play in. Fun toys for indoors include soft toys. The Pet Brands Toadstool Hide-N-Seek Dog Toy is great for your pooch to interact with and pull out all the small gnomes from the mushroom. Many dogs like to pull things apart, especially if they’re cooped up indoors and this toy gives them a healthy outlet to do that without being destructive. If you’re feeling brave you might consider the Happy Pet Rubber Bone Dog Toy With Flash & Squeak. It doesn’t just light up but squeaks as well which will keep your pup occupied for hours!
For indoor kitties who are missing the thrill of the hunt outside, you can bring it indoors with the Hexbug Remote Control Mouse Cat Toy. A remote control mouse won’t just keep them occupied but it will give you something to do as well and watching your feline friend prowl and pounce after this fun toy will cheer both of you up.
It can be hard to keep your pet occupied if you’re at home all day but you don’t have to constantly be interacting with them. You can turn to their next best friend to keep their interest - food. Most pets love food, sometimes it might even seem like they love food more than they love us but it can be of benefit to you if you need to get things done around the house without being pestered to play. Enrichment gives your companion something to do while also working their mind to tire them out just as much as a walk might. You can use enrichment puzzles to feed them treats or add to their meals to keep them occupied.
An enrichment toy like the Catit Pixi Treat Dispenser Mouse Cat Toy is great for cats on a dry food diet. Instead of just filling their bowl in the morning, you can put their breakfast in an interactive feeder that they have to play with to access their grub and they’ll have a great time doing it. For your canine companions, a Kong is a great way to deliver meals and treats to keep your pooch busy and tire them out. You can even make them harder by popping them in the freezer for expert pups!
Winter doesn’t have to mean you and your pets become sedentary, there are plenty of ways to keep them entertained and active without having to step foot outside the house. There’s plenty of time for cuddles under the blanket and fun, engaging indoor activities when you can’t get outside.