Preventing Your Pet from Going Stir-Crazy This Winter

Stir Crazy DogsThe winter season is an excellent time for hot chocolate, snowball fights, and nights by the fireplace. But this frigid season can also lead to extreme indoor boredom for you and your pets. Although we pet-parents may take them for regular walks and runs in the yard, there are just some days during this season that they don’t get enough exercise.

Check out these fun tips to help your pets stay active and energized during the winter, even if you aren’t able to leave the house.

Indoor dog parks or dog daycare

Indoor dog parks are a great way for your pets to meet other animals in the area, get some exercise and have fun without being exposed to cooler temperatures. As these parks tend to be “unleashed,” your dog will have the freedom to be as active as possible. In addition, many of these parks are equipped with intricate obstacle courses which help to entertain your dogs for hours on end.

Keep them mentally stimulated

Just as a good puzzle can be diverting for a human, they can also serve the same purpose for animals. My dogs, Bella and Wallace, love when they are given toys that occupy their curiosity, because they never get bored. There are many websites and retailers that offer a great resource for finding popular toys and products of all kinds, and at all price points. Cats often enjoy toys that contain catnip, or a bell ball to help keep their interest.

make use of the stairs and basement

Exercise for pets is closer than you think. If you live in a two-story home, utilize the stairs or basement area to give pets a quick jolt of energy. Take two steps at a time, jog up and down, or walk up sideways to vary the routine. Playing a game with your pet by throwing their favorite toy down the steps, and have them race after it is another option for indoor exercise. You could also play “keep away” with your animal by throwing a squeaky toy to your spouse or a friend while your dog tries to intercept it.

Have you tried any of these ideas to keep your pet from going stir crazy this winter?

Niccole Schreck is a rental experience expert for Rent.com, a free rental site that helps you find an affordable pet-friendly apartment and provides tips on how to move with your pet. She is also the proud owner of two dogs, Bella and Wallace.