These days, most people are staying at home due to the health crisis that the world is experiencing. A lot of people have had some difficulties as they have already been staying at home for an extended time.
Amidst these situations, problems often arise from the fact that the things that you can do indoors are limited. Staying indoors and binge-watching your favorite series or movies can become tiresome.
But despite staying indoors, we should never forget to exercise regularly. Regular exercise helps in maintaining your health and keeping you fit. It also enables you to maintain a healthy immune system by making your antibodies, and white blood cells (WBC) circulate faster, thus earlier detection of foreign pathogens.
It also helps you by slowing down your brains’ release of cortisol and other stress hormones. These stress hormones can negatively affect your immune system.
But exercising should not just be for humans. Even pets have to exercise by doing fun activities even when they are stuck indoors with you. For pet-parents, the problem is that their pets may eventually become too energetic and need an avenue to focus their energy on.
Staying indoors for a prolonged time is not going to be helpful for them unless they are in pain and need rest. If that is the case, then there is pain relief for dogs available in stores that you can check.
So if you are struggling to find a way to get their pets to do fun activities while staying indoors, this article will be helpful for you; As we list down some fun activities that you and your pet can do at home to keep them healthy and entertained:
- Running in the Stairs
Take advantage of your stairs at home and exercise with your dog by going up and down the stairs. You can make it more fun by making it a competition and giving your pet dog or cat a treat as a form of reward when they finish first. The repetitive action and rewarding them well with snacks will be a positive memory for your pets, and this will make it easy for you to teach them other things.
If you don’t have stairs in your house, you can simply clear a path where you and your pets can run. This will allow both of you to exercise while having fun.
- Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is another fun game that you can do at home with your pet. There are limited places in a house where you can hide, but that makes it more fun. You will have to use your imagination to find the right hiding place where your pet will not instantly find you.
Make it worthwhile for your pet by giving treats when they find you. Pets love treats, and it can really motivate them to work harder to find you. To change things up, you can switch places and make your pet hide while you find them.
Although playing hide and seek is not much of a physical activity compared to running up and down the stairs or hallway, it can be a good way for them to consume energy and this can train their understanding of commands and judgement. It can also be a great way to train your pet for obedience as well.
Another way to play hide seek is instead of you hiding while your pet is looking for you, you hide a treat and let your pet find it. This game would be an ideal game for your pet to play while you are doing something or working and don’t want to be bothered. You can hide the treats in all of his favorite places, but be careful not to insert it on cushions as they may bite and ruin them.
Place the treats in his favorite corner, under the chair or under the table and other relatively safe spaces. Don’t place it in areas that might be dangerous for your pet to go into. Don’t put it in cushions, pillo, and other things that you do not want your pet to bite. Also, make sure that you don’t place the treats near harmful areas as your pet might get hurt.
Animals have a very strong sense of smell so they will definitely find the treats. Good thing you won’t have to give them more treats after the game because they already have one. A hug or cuddling with them, and telling them that they did an excellent job will be enough.
- Playing Fetch
Playing fetch is a fun game that your pet is probably already familiar with. Although you won’t be able to throw chew toys or balls too far because of the limited space of being indoors, it would still be a fun activity for your pet. On top of that, they will be able to exercise and spend their energy on a physical activity.
To switch things up, you can pretend to throw their toy and see if you can fool them or not. Wait and see what your pet will give back to you. You never know, your pet might find the old toy you thought you’ve already lost.
You can also play fetch with your pet while doing a bit of cleaning in your living area or when you are organizing your pet’s toys. If your pet has been trained and follows simple instructions, you can command him to bring you the things that you need.
Make your pet motivated to participate in tidying up things by giving him a treat every time he follows what you tell them to do. Although this might seem like just walking in the park to you, your pet may disagree as pacing back and forth to give you things can tire your pet out. Take breaks and reward them accordingly.
The best thing about it is that you are able to clean and organize and your pet gets to do a bit of exercise while helping you out. So both of you are productive while having fun.
- Swimming At Home
Swimming is such a fun activity; unfortunately, most beaches and public pools are closed due to the pandemic. So improvise and simply use your bathtub in the bathroom instead if your pet can fit or if you have a backyard pool, joining your pet when they go swimming. If you have a backyard but don’t have any pool, you can use an inflatable pool that you can easily buy online these days.
Swimming is a great form of exercise for both you and your pet because you get to move your whole body. Not to mention that it can be relaxing as well and you’ll get some sunlight while enjoying a fun activity.
While in your backyard and watching over your dog, you can make yourself a drink and catch up on some reading you have been wanting to do. You can even do some work through your laptop while your pet enjoys cooling off while swimming in the pool.
- Obstacle Courses
Building obstacle courses may take some time but it is definitely going to be worth it for both of you and your pet. You can use pillows and blankets and other household materials to build the obstacle course.
You can also use empty boxes if you have some lying around. If you are feeling extra and want to make the obstacle course a more permanent form of exercise for your pet, you can use some wood and other materials to build one in your backyard.
You can also build a collapsible one which can be bought online as well that you can set up indoors when you want to use it for your pet and simply disassemble it when the exercise is done.
You can install an obstacle course in your yard, living room, bedroom, hallway or any place that is convenient for you and your pets. Your pet will surely love running through obstacle courses and it will be a fun way to give him a physical activity that improves his fitness while staying at home.
- Keep Away
This game would be a good way to keep all members of your family involved in the game. All you have to do is find a space big enough so you and members of the family can create a circle. Your pet or pets will be in the middle of the circle.
What the people participating in the game will do is pass the ball or chew toy around by throwing it to a family member. Your pet will have to get the ball or toy from you and your family members as you throw it around.
To keep your pet motivated in participating in the game, you can give them treats when they successfully get the toy from you or any other human participants.
This game is a good way for your pet to release their excitement and energy while staying indoors. If you have a backyard, then that would be an ideal place too. The bigger circle you can make, the wider space your pet will have to run around in, the more energy they can consume.
Catching the toy and evading your pet can also be a good form of exercise for you and your family while staying indoors during these times. Most of all, it’s fun and exciting for everyone involved.
- Tug of War
If you have multiple pets, you can just let your pets play with each other. You can teach them to play tug of war. Make sure that your pet is trained not to be aggressive to others. Make them understand that it’s just a game and when they start to get rough with each other, make sure to intervene immediately.
To start, you can give them a toy that they both like and hold it in the middle of them so that they can both bite it. Let go of it to start and make them yank it on each side and see who gets the toy. This game allows your pet to consume their energy as they bite and pull the ball or toys while trying to get away from each other. The first to get the toy back to you will be the winner. Give both of your pets some treats to reward them by being cooperative with each other.
- Running Indoors
If you think you and your pet will still be stuck indoors in the foreseeable future, it won’t hurt to invest in some new toys and playthings. Buying a treadmill, if you don’t have any, may also be useful not just for when you are exercising but it can be used by your pet too.
They can use it to run indoors. You can even position the treadmill in front of a floor to ceiling window so they can see the outdoors while running. This way, it would still feel like they are running outdoors even though they are still just indoors.
For cats and dogs, running after laser toys or toys that move on their own can be fun, too. Just make sure that they will not be hitting or stumbling over anything that breaks easily and is valuable to you. Be very careful and observant as they can cause some costly damages when you let them run around unattended.
You can be unmotivated to exercise while being indoors for a long period of time. It can be an obstacle to exercising. But to have a healthy lifestyle, you have to exercise too; same goes for your pet.
So try your best and make time to engage your pets in some fun activities so you can exercise and play even when both of you are indoors. It can also be a good way to bond with them to show how much you love them.
You may not be able to go outside yet but staying indoors and doing the activities listed above can be fun and it will keep you and your pet fit and safe amidst the pandemic.