Longford store Maxi Zoo have some timely advice for pet owners
House pets want to be challenged both physically and mentally, regardless of the weather outside.
Disruptive behaviour can be the pay-back for boredom. The experts at Maxi Zoo have put together five exciting indoor games for pets.
1. Intelligence Game
If you like simplicity: hide a treat under a paper cup and challenge your dog to take it. If that works well, introduce a second cup. Let him watch where you place the reward. Make a fuss of him if he finds the treat first time round. Increase the game to three cups.
2. Hide and seek
Hide yourself in another room and praise your pet when it tracks you down. You can also hide a treat or your pet’s favourite toy somewhere in the house and let them find it for themselves. Combine the rewards with specific tasks, like running through a tunnel. You can even construct one yourself using a blanket and two chairs.
3. Hunting games
Special “play circuits” or ball tracks also challenge all the senses: you let balls speed along them which your cat can glimpse through spy-holes. This promotes full concentration, trains reflexes and speed.
4. Agility course
Jumping over broomsticks, running around some bottles, crawling through a play tunnel, long-jumping over a flat obstacle – just let your imagination run free. Anything goes as long as it can’t cause injury or anxiety.
5. Clicker training
The so-called “clicking” works with both dogs and cats. The animals learn at the start to connect the clicking, simply a specific clicking noise, with a reward. Thereafter you can teach your four-legged friend much with the help of a clicker. Instructions on this form of training can be found in courses or specialist books.