Summer’s here! For many of us, warmer days mean spending more time outside enjoying activities such as biking, swimming, hiking, picnicking, and camping. And if you’re a doting pet parent, you want to include your furry child in as many of your outdoor adventures as possible. But when the weather gets too hot, it’s better to postpone an outing to a cooler day.
A scavenger hunt is a great way to satisfy your pet’s innate instincts and curiosity. It also gets your furry friend moving so that they can still get some exercise despite being indoors.
To set up the hunt, place your cat or dog in a separate room so that they don’t see you hiding the treats. Hide a bunch of strong-smelling treats strategically around the house in places that are safe for your pet to access. Some good spots are behind doors, under pillows, in room corners, and next to furniture. For cats, you can put treats in higher places such as shelves and their cat tree.
If your companion animal is already familiar with scavenger hunts, you can turn up the challenge by placing treats inside boxes and their toys as well. For dogs, try hiding some pieces inside a rolled up towel. And for very little effort, you can quickly create puzzle toys out of ordinary household items. Toilet paper rolls, newspapers, and boxes can easily be turned into a snuffle box that your dog can tear into.
Once everything’s set up, let your cat or dog out. They may smell the treats right away and start searching, or you may have to give them a hand in finding the goodies.
Keep your four-legged BFF active at home by setting up an indoor obstacle course for them. The good news is, this can be done even with limited space. And you certainly don’t need any fancy equipment, either; you can just use things you already have.
Create a maze for cats by placing pillows and cushions around the room. Or cut out holes into the sides of boxes and put them together to construct a cardboard kitty labyrinth. If your feline friend isn’t showing interest, try planting a few treats throughout the maze to encourage them to explore.For dogs, you can build a tunnel with just a large blanket and some dining chairs. Simply line up two rows of chairs back to back and drape the blanket over the backs of the chairs, leaving enough space in between for your pooch to pass through. Almost anything can double as hurdles, as long as they’re the right height for your dog to jump over. Try small footstools, rolled up blankets, broomsticks, or empty plastic flower boxes. These items can also be used to set up a zig zag run. If you want to teach your pup to do an army crawl, all you’ll need is a coffee table that they can fit under. Put all these obstacles together, and you have an indoor doggie obstacle course!
Take this opportunity to teach your furry friend some new tricks or practice what they already know. For dogs, training offers mental stimulation and builds confidence. Plus spending all that time together strengthens your bond with each other. When it’s too hot outside, training keeps your canine companion from getting bored.
Felines also benefit from training. In addition to providing mental stimulation and a stronger bond, training teaches your cat to stay calm and feel more comfortable during checkups, grooming, and while inside a carrier.Though it’s best to train your dog or cat from a young age, it’s never too late to start. And you can do so without leaving the house, as there are plenty of online training classes for dogs and cats alike to help you get started!