Leaving your furbaby alone at home or getting stuck at home when it’s raining can be a real nightmare for pet parents. This leaves pets bored and unmotivated, marking that very day as their “lazy day”. Doesn’t this sound all too familiar?

Just like you, your furbaby needs to expend his energy and stimulate his mind and body to stay healthy. Good thing, there are indoor games for pets to help your furbaby stay active and healthy, regardless of your presence and the weather!

How to mentally stimulate your dog or your cat? How to entertain a dog or cat when you’re not home?  How to play with a dog without toys? Such questions should be answered according to the mental and physical needs of your pet. Use these indoor games for pets to help you get started:

cute dogs in costume

Source: @loganthewelsh

  1. Treat Dispensing Toys

 Treat dispending toys are the answer to questions like how to entertain a dog or cat when you’re not home or how to mentally stimulate your dog or cat. If there’s one thing you can count to help you with your furbaby – it’s treats. Treat dispensing toys are perfect because regardless of your presence, your pet will do anything for a treat. It can store treats and release them when force is placed on it. The more force, the faster or the more treats will come out. This is excellent for increasing your pet’s level of physical exertion and mental stimulation. Without their own efforts, they won’t be able to get their prized possession – yummy treats.

  1. Kibble Hunt

How to play with a dog without toys? You can organize a kibble hunt by simply using kibbles instead of toys. Instead of dumping the food in his bowl, hide small piles of food around your house to get him hunting, moving and eating. This one of the best indoor games for pets as it also teaches him how to use all his senses and stimulates his brain.

  1. Tug and Fetch

Dogs love to play fetch! You’ll be surprised to know that some cats do too. Tug and fetch are two commonly known games: tug o’ war and fetch, combined for you and your pet to enjoy. Choose a toy that matches your pet’s size and strength that can be used for both tugging and throwing. Tip: act as if you’re your pet’s prey to keep him interested. Don’t be surprised if you pet starts moving uncontrollably, pouncing, grabbing, shaking and even seemingly tearing the toy. It just means he’s very, very excited!

To start, show your pet the toy and allow him to get a grip on it. Tug it back and forth until you have your furbaby’s full attention. Then, throw it to an unexpected corner of the room and scream “fetch!” to signal him to retrieve it and return it back to you. If your cat is unresponsive to the game, a teaser wand should do the trick! You may opt to give your pet a reward after to let him know he’s doing well.

  1. Run up and down the stairs

Wondering how to exercise your dog when it's raining? Try getting him to run up and down the stairs indoors to avoid the downpour of rain. You have two options: to run up and down with your furbaby or use a toy your furbaby can fetch. Using the stairs is an excellent way to challenge your dog to workout, specifically his core muscles. 

  1. Teach Your Pet New Tricks

Learning how to mentally stimulate your dog or cat will help make him smarter, more obedient and more confident. You can start by teaching your pet to sit, roll over, dance, crawl and even play fetch. There are many other tricks in the book, but feel free to try a few of your own to keep you and your furbaby entertained. There’s nothing like a good laugh or the joy you’ll feel when you see your furbaby perform a trick.

To aid your teaching process, you can show your furbaby a treat in your hand to let him know that it’s his if he performs the trick, but keep it at a distance to prevent him from snatching it from your hand. After, ask your furbaby to perform the trick and help him if needed. When performed successfully, you can give your furbaby the treat to serve as his reward.

Conclusion

Like you, your furbaby also gets tired of having to play with the same things repeatedly. It’s best to have a variety of toys you can rotate. If not, the same toy will lose its value to your furbaby.

Indoor games for pets are interesting and fun ways for you and your furbaby to stay healthy and active. Remember, add fun and kindness when training and playing with your pet, and always stay curious and up to date on how to mentally stimulate your dog or cat, finding new ways on how to entertain your dog or cat when you’re not home and how to play with a dog or cat without toys. This way, these games to play with your puppy or kitten indoors will seem more like a fun activity you and your furbaby can look forward to.