Not receiving quality time with owners can make pets suffer from behavioral problems, poor socialization, and health issues.
Did you know around 75% of dogs experience anxiety and depression? Hence, indulging in fun activities with your pet may be more than essential.
Try fun activities like playing fetch, hide-and-seek, toys, and water games to teach them new tricks, watching a movie, baking homemade treats, snuggling, grooming, and having photo sessions.
Read on to get clear ideas about engaging your pet at home.
Why Do Pets Need Socializing and Playtime?
Pets require socializing and playtime for mental and physical stimulation, socialization, exercise, and bonding with human companions.
Moreover, it helps prevent destructive behavior and improves communication skills, confidence, and overall well-being.
Reasons why pets need to be physically and socially active
- Behavioral Problems: Socialization and fun time can reduce the risk of behavior problems. It will be best to provide socialization training to puppies between the ages of 3 and 14 weeks to minimize fear, aggression, and other behavioral issues later in life.
- Fitness: Over 50% of dogs and 60% of cats are overweight or obese. It can lead to fatal diseases in pets like heart disease, respiratory distress, diabetes, joint issues, etc. Therefore, regular playtime is essential for pets to burn off excess calories, improve cardiovascular health, and maintain a healthy weight.
- Mental Stimulation: Cats and dogs with regular playtime have high problem-solving abilities. Moreover, playtime helps to improve cortisol levels in the pet’s body and reduces stress-related behaviors.
- Better Immune Function: Pets who receive regular socialization and exercise have higher antibodies in their bloodstream, improving immune function and eliminating chronic illness.
10 Fun Activities to Do with Your Pets at Home
Here are the most interactive activities to help you bond and have fun with your pet indoors.
1. Playing Fetch
Playing fetch with a pet typically involves throwing a ball, toy, or other object and having the pet retrieve it and brings it back to you.
Moreover, this activity also assists in preventing boredom and destructive behavior by keeping the dog’s mind active.
Things to Consider While Playing Fetch
- Choose a safe area under your close supervision.
- Start with short distances.
- Use a toy safe for your pet.
- Praise them when they bring the toy back.
- Take breaks from time to time.
- Provide clean and fresh water to prevent your pet from overheating while playing.
- Offer treats after the game to reinforce good behavior.
Hide and seek can be fun to play indoors with your pet because it engages their instincts to hunt and seek and exercises them physically and mentally.
Moreover, playing hide and seek with your pet can strengthen your bond and improve your pet’s obedience.
Things to Consider While Playing Hide-and-seek
- Choose an indoor area with no hazards and breakable items.
- Start by hiding treats in simple-to-find locations.
- Once your pet understands the game, you can increase difficulty levels.
- Incorporate obedience training with commands like “come” and “stay” within the game.
- Make sure your pet is associating and having fun.
Toys help to keep your pet’s mind engaged and stimulate the mind. But, while choosing toys, it is also essential to consider their safety.
If you have a dog, buy puzzle toys or make your own by hiding treats in boxes or using a muffin tin with tennis balls.
However, getting them catnip toys will be best if you have a cat.
Things to Consider While Giving Toys to Pet
- Choose toys appropriate for your pet’s size.
- Look for durable ones because easily breaking toys can make your pet sick if they ingest the broken pieces.
- Avoid toys with sharp edges.
- Offer your pet a variety of toys like chewing, fetching, and stimulation toys.
- Provide soft and gentle toys for small pups and kittens.
4.Teach New Tricks
Spending time indoors can be an excellent opportunity to teach your pet new tricks.
Whether teaching your dog to sit, stay, or roll over, training your pet is a great way to bond and keep their minds active.
Moreover, it will help if you keep training sessions short and fun and consistently reward your pet for their efforts.
New Tricks and the Way to teach your pets
- High-five: Hold a treat in your hand and hold it up before your pet. When it tries to get the treat, say “high five,” If it touches your hand with a paw, reward it. Repeat until your furry friend understands the command without goodies.
- Roll over: Start by having your dog lie down, then say “roll over” while moving a treat over their head towards their opposite shoulder when they roll over, reward or praise them.
- Give paw: Start by holding a treat in your hand and closing your fist around it. When your dog paws at your hand, say “Give paw” and reward them when they touch your hand with their paw. Repeat until they understand the command without the treat.
Movie night is a pleasant and engaging way to spend time with your furry friend indoors.
Although these movies claim to be safe for pets, it is essential to remember that each animal may react differently to television or movies.
Therefore, it will help to supervise your pet while they watch and ensure they are comfortable and not experiencing any anxiety or stress.
Things to Consider while Playing Fetch:
- Set up a cozy spot on the couch.
- Make sure to choose a pet-friendly movie.
- Prepare some healthy snacks like carrots, celery, or apple slices.
- Avoid distractions by putting away the phone and blocking external noises.
- Interact with your pets by petting and cuddling.
6.Bake Homemade Treats
Baking homemade treats for your pet is an enjoyable way to spend quality time with them while providing delicious and nutritious snacks.
You can make delicious treats using non-toxic kitchen items such as peanut butter, oats, and pumpkin.
Recipe for a Simple Cookie Treat
- Take 2 cups of wheat flour, half a cup of peanut butter and apple sauce, and two eggs.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Make dough by mixing the ingredients in a bowl.
- Roll out the dough, making it slightly thick.
- Cut it into various shapes.
- Then bake it for 18-20 minutes making the treats golden brown.
- Let the treats cool and store them properly.
Things to Consider While Baking Homemade Treats
- Use organic ingredients to avoid pet poisoning from harmful chemicals.
- Make a low-calorie treat because pets have sensitive stomachs and cannot digest high-calorie foods.
- Do not overfeed and provide treats to your pets based on their balanced diet.
- Store the treats properly in an air-tight container or refrigerator.
- Get your pet involved by letting them explore and lick the spoon.
Snuggle time is a great way for pets to spend time indoors and bond with their owners. It is essential during colder months or rainy days when outdoor activities may not be possible.
Snuggling with pets is beneficial for their overall well-being. It helps them feel safe and secure, especially during stressful or anxious times and provides a sense of calmness.
Moreover, snuggling can have physical health benefits for pets, such as reducing heart rate and blood pressure and regulating their body temperature.
It can also have mental health benefits, including managing stress levels, improving mood, and lowering the risk of depression.
Tips for snuggle time activities:
- Cuddle on the couch.
- Watch a TV.
- Read a book.
- Play a board game.
- Take a nap together.
Water play can be fun and exciting for pets, especially during the scorching heat of the hot summer.
However, it will help if you take the necessary safety precautions and always supervise your pet.
Safety Tips while Taking Out Pets in Water:
- Make sure the water is not too deep for your pet.
- Make your pet wear a well-fitted life jacket.
- Pick a safe and secure location for water play.
- Making a backyard pool, kiddie pool, or sprinkler in the lawn will be best.
- Use toys like water guns, floating toys, and Frisbees.
- After playtime, dry your pet thoroughly to prevent them from getting cold and having skin issues.
Grooming and cleaning activities make your pet’s fur healthy and clean, preventing them from fatal skin infections like neoplastic skin disease and parasites like fleas and ticks.
Long-haired dog breeds like Golden Retriever, Siberian Husky, Chow Chow, Collie, etc., require grooming every 4-6 weeks. However, short-haired breeds like Dalmatian, Pug, Labrador Retriever, etc., need grooming every 3-6 months.
You can give your pet a DIY grooming session while having fun indoors. However, taking safety precautions while using sharp tools is best, as they can hurt your pet badly.
Activities DIY Grooming Session Includes:
- Brush the dog’s coat using a pet-designed brush.
- Trimming nails.
- Clean ears using vet-recommended products like Virbac Epi-otic Advanced Cleaner, Zymox Ear Cleaner, MalAcetic otic Cleanser, etc.
- Bathe your pet properly using pet-designed shampoos such as Earthbath Oatmeal Hypoallergenic Shampoo, Earthbath’s Deodorizing Shampoo, etc.
- Clean your dog’s teeth using Virbac CET Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste, Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Dog Toothpaste, etc.
10. Photo Session
A photo session with your pet at home can be a memorable experience. The key to ensuring a successful outcome is to have fun while doing it.
Tips for Exciting Photo Sessions with Your Pet:
- Dress up your pet in a cute costume.
- Choose comfortable clothes and accessories for your pet.
- Never force them to wear something they do not like.
- Make sure your pet is relaxed and take breaks from time to time.
- Using burst mode on your camera will best capture multiple shots quickly.
Spending quality time with pets helps to promote a positive relationship between pet and owner and can be an opportunity for training and socialization.
Fun activities such as playing fetch, hide-and-seek, toy time, teaching new tricks, baking homemade treats, snuggling, grooming, and photography can bring you closer together and create lasting memories.
Moreover, pet owners must prioritize their pet’s safety and comfort while indulging in these activities.Get suggestions from our best veterinarians on what activity will be appropriate for your pups and kitties, and contact Urban Pet Supply to learn more about your pet’s overall wellness.