Pets have cabin fever? Distract them with these tips and toys
If you think you’re tired of those freezing days and carving those paths through the snow, imagine how your poor dog feels.
The people your dog owns won’t spend more than five minutes on a quick potty break walk, and Smokey has even forgotten how to chase a rabbit or fetch a Frisbee, it’s been so long. In short, you’re not the only one with cabin fever. Even the cat misses perching on her favorite spot near the window to bird watch. It’s too darn drafty there to gaze outside, so she’s settled for curling up near a heater.
To ensure your bored pet doesn’t take those frustrations out on your couch (the best place to sharpen claws), or your new leather shoes (yummy, the dog says), we’ve looked around for a few products sure to distract the bored pet.
Danielle Bickelmann, spokeswoman for PetSmart, offers a few suggestions to keep your pup occupied. For that cat? We’d suggest investing in a quality scratching post. It’s less expensive than a new couch. (One tip from a ShopAtHome.com cat lover: Many pet supply stores carry special tape, hard to see with the eye, that you can stick to her favorite sharpening spots. One paw stuck on that and your kitty will find a new place to sharpen).
Bickelmann notes that it’s a good idea to distract a dog, as well.
“On cold or rainy days, offer your dog mental stimulation to use up some of the energy he would normally spend outdoors,” she says. “Play hide and seek in the house, practice some obedience training or invest in an interactive dog toy that encourages your dog to think for his treats.”
For cats, she notes, catnip is a perfect distraction. For dogs, food-releasing toys are ideal time-spenders.
A few suggestions from the pros:
There’s a reward to solving a puzzle, and any dog lover knows that a pup will put his mind into earning any treat. Toys ‘R’ Us puzzle treat dispenser dog toy, $11.99-$15.99, petsmart.com
Climb on in
If an older dog needs a bit of help going up and down from a favorite spot, we suggest this handy “ladder.” Pet Gear Easy Step 2, $61.99 on sale, kohls.com
Even a cat can be trained to focus with this toy, which will allow that mouse-hunter to stay on her paws. SmartCat Peek-a-Prize toy box cat toy, $27.99, petsmart.com
In the dog house
Anyone who knows dogs knows that a squeak is a reward in and of itself. Pet Squeak Doggy Den Dog House, $169.99 on sale, kohls.com
Here’s something a bit different. A toy that works for either dogs or cats. And, yup, it rewards “good” behavior. Nina Ottosson interactive dog toy, $15.99-$22.99, petsmart.com
If you think mazes are only for gerbils, try introducing your feline to this. Toys ‘R’ Us tunnel pop-up cat toy, various prices, petsmart.com