Sometimes the winter weather deters us from stepping outside. While waiting for the weather to improve, here are some indoor games that will make your pet happy. Of course, this does not replace a walk – essential to the well-being of your dog – but it can compensate for a walk cut short by necessity…
1- An obstacle course
With a cushion, a stool, a chair or an ottoman, your living room will be transformed into an agility field! Arrange these elements to make a real course and encourage your dog to follow you. If necessary, motivate him with a few well-placed treats…
Your dog will exert himself by concentrating on the obstacles to be circumvented or passed but also by running everywhere like a little madman!
2- A little education?
After physical exercise, mental gymnastics! Do not hesitate to revise the little tricks that your animal knows: the idea is that the "exercise" is short, just a few minutes to work on his concentration. Sitting, standing, lying down, giving the paw will be playful postures for him if their accomplishment is also rewarded with caresses.
3- A pursuit game
Cat lovers, it's time to tickle your hunting instincts! Arm yourself with feather dusters or toys to encourage him to follow you or climb on objects that you have previously placed.
4- A gourmet riddle to solve
A few treats placed in a Kong® for dogs or a Pipolino® for cats, it works the brains! Your companion will rack their brains to get them and will quickly become more cunning each time the experience is renewed. Be careful, however, not to play too often or to make the game last too long at the risk of it becoming torture, especially if he is hungry!
You can also make these little toys yourself: in a shoebox with a pierced lid, your cat will have to pass its paw inside to remove the kibble. For dogs, remove the cap from a small plastic bottle and place treats inside: he will have to knock the bottle over to get them.
5- A little climbing?
To exercise his climbing skills, have one or more cat trees for your tomcat. “ In theory, the cat tree should fulfill the functions of a garden tree. If your interior and your budget allow it, choose it as rich in elements and as high as possible… and the choice is not lacking! Here are the different pleasures that the tree should provide to the cat: climbing, scratching, hiding, resting, playing and observing ” explains the veterinarian Laetitia Barlerin in her book A happy cat in an apartment (Rustica editions, 2007).
6- A track to follow
In the book 50 tricks to train your dog (White Star editions, 2011), you will find many games to entertain your doggie. Here is one of the suggested exercises: have your dog sit. Then show him a toy or treat and hide it in front of him. Wait a few seconds then ask him to find the object. Repeat the exercise by making him smell the treat but hide it out of his sight. To make the exercise more difficult, you can hide the toy, take your dog out for a walk for ten minutes, and see if he finds the object immediately on returning: a way to work on his medium-term memory.
7- A hide and seek
Go hide in a room not too far from him and ask your dog to come get you! To complicate the game, turn off the light… Each time he finds you, congratulate him!
Cats also like this game: “Hiding and intruding into the most inaccessible places are behaviors rooted in the nature of the cat. (…) For his pleasure, let him regularly enter cupboards, cupboards, wardrobes and have fun surprising him in his hiding place! It will quickly become a game between him and you, ” suggests Laetitia Barlerin in her book.