Staying bundled up inside during icy, cold winter weather can drive anyone a little stir-crazy – including our furry friends! Though North Texas tends to shut everything down when winter weather hits, our pets are still craving stimulation and activity. Here are a few fun indoor and outdoor activities you can try with your pets to keep them entertained when winter weather hits!
1. Outdoor fun in the snow
Depending on the breed, your pup is likely equipped with a built-in winter coat of their own! Having a little bit of playtime in the snow can be a really fun way for your dog to get some energy out. Toss some snowballs for your pup to catch or hide treats in denser snow to practice scent tracking. Remember to stay mindful of the amount of time you’re outside and keep your pets off ground that has been treated with chemicals. Putting dog boots and jackets on your pup can prolong the amount of safe playtime!
2. Inside enrichment
Puzzle toys are an excellent source of enrichment for your pet. These can be played with indoors and can help your pet get out some energy while staying warm. Puzzle toys, snuffle mats and Kong toys are all great options for keeping your pets engaged and preoccupied.
It may sound like a no-brainer, but pets love to play fetch! Even active cats can enjoy chasing a soft toy – though they may not follow through with bringing that toy back to you! Fetch can be played even in small indoor spaces as long as there is a safe, clear path for your pet to play in.
4. Trip to the store
Should to roads be clear enough and stores stay open, taking your pet with you to a store that permits it can be a great way to keep your pets interested indoors! Pet stores and many hardware stores allow pets to enter. Let your pet walk down the aisles and browse the shelves with you! Remember to be respectful to the store’s patrons and staff by keeping your pet on a leash and cleaning up after any potential messes/accidents. For best practice, check the store’s website or call ahead to confirm they’ll allow your furry friend entry!
5. Cardboard box playhouses
Cats love to explore new toys and play areas! Try repurposing that left-over cardboard box into a new fort for your kitty! You can also fill a small sandbox with sand, grass or twigs to give your cat a new, fun place to explore from the comfort of inside!
6. Winter walk
Similar to outdoor play, a short walk in the winter weather can be a fun reset for your pup after spending time inside. Sidewalks treated with salt to melt ice, and snow can be harmful to and harsh on your pet’s paws, but keeping your pet in the snow and grass can offer an exciting adventure for your pup!
7. Indoor training
Staying indoors due to winter weather can offer the perfect opportunity to work on training with your pet. Refresh your pet’s memory on the standard commands they may already know or teach them something new you’ve been meaning to find time for. The resources section of our website has great training tips! You can also check out YouTube to find new training ideas and techniques.
8. Cat TV
Speaking of YouTube, watching videos of birds, fish and other wildlife can be a great way to keep cats entertained! Snow and ice can mean less cars on the street, less birds in the trees and less squirrels by the fence, all of which might be your cat’s typical entertainment as the stare out the window! Showing videos or even turning on the TV can serve as a replacement!
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