Now that temperatures are dropping, weather patterns are changing and winter is knocking at our front door, this doesn’t mean we have to give up an active lifestyle when become stuck inside. Having “cabin fever” can sometimes change a dog’s behavior (often for the worse) due to the presentation of this type of impending sedentary, albeit temporary, situation.
With a little imagination, some creativity and forethought, we can change our daily routine and environment to be more beneficial. We don’t need to feel trapped indoors without much activity to regular events that give ourselves (and our pets) the opportunity to stay in motion rather than resort to more time spent on the couch.
Let’s look at a few ways we can refrain from sitting like a stone, and keep our muscles in tone because when we move it, we’ll all feel better!
Interactive Toys & Absent Activities
If you’re amongst the vast majority of the population that needs to spend more time away from home (and apart from our beloved four-legged best friends) due to work, school or other restrictions, there are still some ways we can ensure they’re staying active during our absence.
With advancing technology, some toys and tricks, there are a number of ways we can keep them active and engaged while we’re away.
Here are just a few examples of fun for them while we’re on the run:
- Hide some treats and snacks for them all around the house. Obviously, you can’t do this while they’re wide awake or paying attention to you, but once they’ve passed out for the day, take a little bit of time to stash some goodies in various places around your home. When you leave, their nose will take over, guide them and they’ll spend some time snooping around looking for these hidden treasures.
- Some of us leave the television, radio or other noise making device available for our dogs during our absence. Given today’s technology, there are online videos, DVD’s and other ways to keep our canines visually and audibly entertained while we’re away.
- Newer technology brings us different types of “fetch machines” that may (or may not) be an available option to keep our dogs running around and returning their favorite ball while we’re busy at work or school. Granted our parents may have forbidden us from playing with these toys inside, a hallway or other out-of-the-way location could be suitable for this type of activity.
- There are many different types of “puzzle toys” and interactive play products available for pets and they’re not just for curious cats. We’ve likely seen some felines playing with balls trapped inside hoops, mazes for them to poke around and play with, but similar activities can be just as playful for dogs as they are for cats.
When we do have the time to interact with our pets once we arrive home, we can make the most of our playtime while we’re all trapped inside our indoor confines. Even if we humans are tired and worn out from a long day at work or school, we can still engage in a heated game of tug-of-war or fetch while we’re seated on the couch.
As always, if you’re going to change your animal’s exercise, activity or feeding regime, you should always check with your veterinarian first. But I’m sure your doggie’s doctor will agree that keeping them active during winter months is best for their overall health and welfare.
Emily Ridgewell is an arts professional and a pet enthusiast from sunny LA. Emily has a creative energy and an aesthetic sense of living, where everything beautiful is worth sharing. She loves her Yorkie Olivia and writes original and fun articles on ways to learn and improve your pet-best friend’s life. She finds exciting new things to explore and experience! Don’t forget to connect with her on Twitter: ridgewell_j