Cats and Dogs Need Exercise
Your pets are a lot like children, and like children they love to play. Not only does this keep them occupied while you play with them, it also has many other benefits that are valuable. Pet play always involves movement, which is effectively exercise. Your cat or dog needs a lot of exercise, and what better way than through play. It also helps to avoid boredom and depression.
One important thing to bear in mind is that you should concentrate on the games that your pet likes best. Finding out what they like best is really down to trial and error, but once you find a game that they obviously enjoy more than all the others, go for it – your pet will never get bored.
The kind of games to play with cats or dogs don’t have to be complicated. It can be something as simple as throwing a crunched up paper ball down the hallway for them to run after and retrieve. Here are four games you can play with your cat or dog:
- Everyone knows how to throw a stick for a dog to fetch, but uneven sticks can cause mouth cuts. A tennis ball is much better. However, don’t just throw the ball in exactly the same way every time. Vary the distance, direction and height, so that your dog cannot know where the ball will go. This adds a delightful uncertainty that keeps them guessing and engaged.
- Cats are predatory animals and love to launch mock attacks on just about anything that moves. Most cat owners have occasionally had their cat leap out from under cover suddenly to pounce on their feet. That’s why it is so easy to create something that your cat can really get its teeth into – literally. The simplest idea is to tie a wad of paper, part of an old newspaper, perhaps, to the end of a long length of string. Pulling this slowly across the floor, varying the speed occasionally, will stir awake the attack response in your cat to keep them really alert.
- You can quickly train a dog to play ‘find the treat’. All you need are a few healthy treats, anything small that he or she really likes, and a little bit of training. The idea is that your dog is put in the down, or stay position, while you leave to hide the treats. You need to be out of sight of the dog, of course, and don’t hide too many. Three or four treats are usually enough. This game can be played both inside the house, and outside. It’s a great one for inside on a rainy day!
- A ping pong ball and an empty bathtub are all you need to keep your cat well amused. You will need to remove all the shampoo and other cleaning products commonly found in a bathroom as you’ll need plenty of space. The bathtub needs to be dry with the drain plug in place. Then all you need to do is have your cat in the bathtub while you bounce the ball off the tub bottom. Your cat will naturally chase the ball, hitting it, which will cause it to bounce off the sides at all kinds of unexpected angles. Properly set up, this game can be played for hours.
If you are looking for some more exercise ideas for your pet, you can find some here: