House pets want to be challenged both physically and mentally, regardless of the weather outside. Disruptive behaviour can be the pay-back for boredom. So that it doesn’t come to this, dog owners can be brought into play. The experts at Maxi Zoo have put together five exciting indoor games for pets.
1. Intelligence Game
Nowadays retailers offer a wide choice of board games which challenge the instincts of our four-legged friends for play and food. For dogs there are some really tricky mental exercise tasks in which they have to solve several puzzles (moving blocks, pushing rollers, pulling out bars) until they find their reward. If you like simplicity: hide a treat under a paper cup and challenge your dog to take it. If that works well, introduce a second cup. Let him watch where you place the reward. Make a fuss of him if he finds the treat first time round. Increase the game to a maximum of three cups.
2. Hide and seek
Some animals love searching for their master or mistress. So hide yourself in another room and praise your pet when it tracks you down. You can also hide a treat or your pet’s favourite toy somewhere in the house and let them find it for themselves. Combine the rewards with specific tasks, like running through a tunnel. You can even construct one yourself using a blanket and two chairs.
3. Hunting games
Special “play circuits” or ball tracks also challenge all the senses: you let balls speed along them which your cat can glimpse through spy-holes. This promotes full concentration, trains reflexes and speed.
4. Agility course for dogs
Jumping over broomsticks, running around some bottles, crawling through a play tunnel, long-jumping over a flat obstacle – just let your imagination run free. Anything goes as long as it can’t cause injury or anxiety.
5. Clicker training
The so-called “clicking” works with both dogs and cats. The animals learn at the start to connect the clicking, simply a specific clicking noise, with a reward. Thereafter you can teach your four-legged friend much with the help of a clicker. Instructions on this form of training can be found in courses or specialist books.
We hope you will enjoy these indoor games for pets. However, don’t over-exert your pet when playing games! Sometimes just a few minutes, distributed throughout the day are enough. Try to get along with few words and preferably stop if thing get frustrating. If you’re using real toys, you shouldn’t leave your pet alone with them.