Everyone’s collaboration is needed to end the spread of COVID-19: in these days we will leave very little home. So it’s time to use all the ingenuity possible and look for alternatives to spend time at home. In this article we offer you games to play with pets during the quarantine.
Play with pets during the quarantine
Quarantine days can be a good time to improve the environmental enrichment of pets. The environmental enrichment includes all those actions that modify, adapt or create an environment in which the animal can behave in a natural way, that is characteristic of its species.
Even if you have to stay home most of the time, it is important that animals can somehow develop the natural behaviors inherent in their species. This will help them stay healthy, both physically and mentally.
Through the use of small games, activities and very simple objects we can promote this trend and also have fun with them: we will make them happy! Here are the games to play with pets during the quarantine.
1. Games that stimulate the sense of smell of dogs
Dogs are able to detect odors from miles away thanks to over 220 million olfactory cells present on their muzzle. The sense of smell is essential for the well-being of dogs: think that over 50% of their brain is concentrated on the sense of smell, therefore it is essential for a correct mental development.
We can stimulate the dog’s sense of smell during the quarantine by hiding bits of food, toys or simply rags and old clothes that we have at home. With these games we will also be able to reduce anxiety and voracity towards food. In addition, the dog will take longer and make more efforts to eat.
2. Playing with quarantined pets: The cat
You can awaken your cat’s hunting instincts with toys, ropes or feathers and by moving them to imitate small prey. The game is not only a way to increase the bond with the animal, but also to make him exercise by avoiding obesity, a frequent problem in domestic cats.
You can also throw cardboard, paper or food balls to find and “hunt” them. It should be noted that it is important to allow him some time to adapt to this type of activity.
3. Do you know what catnip is?
The Nepeta cataria, catnip or catmint is a very attractive plant for cats. It secretes a volatile substance called nepectalone to which most cats (between 50-70% of domestic cats) are sensitive.
Sensitive cats usually rub their heads and bodies on the grass or jump, roll, meow, chew and salivate. Subsequently, they may show euphoria or excitement, which usually lasts about 15 minutes.
You can buy catnip in online stores or even grow it at home. If you decide to grow it at home, it will take a couple of days to grow it and you can offer it to your cat as it is, or put it inside the toys. Another option is to spray catnip and spray the kennel or scratching post.
4. Playing hide and seek
A simple game like hide and seek can be the solution to avoid boredom. Hold your dog (or your cat if you can), hide somewhere in the house and give him the order to look for you!
At first, it may be necessary to practice a little, but it is a good game to waste energy. In addition, it can be very useful at a time like quarantine, when you can’t go to parks.
5. Making homemade toys
There are many objects in the house that can be used to play with pets, be they dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets or rodents. Tubes and cardboard boxes, empty plastic bottles or paper balls are very useful for hiding food and prizes inside them.
Be careful, you should always check that all the materials you use are safe. It will also be necessary to monitor the dynamics to prevent the animal from gnawing or eating the cardboard tube or what you have decided to use as a hiding place.
Playing with pets helps us cope with quarantine
Playing with pets is a strategy that helps us deal with quarantine in the best possible way. It also helps us improve our relationship with them and understand them better, as well as empathize with animals in general, both domestic and wild.
Important note: it is not advisable to give the animal rolls of toilet paper to play with, especially if they are later placed and used in the bathroom. Firstly, to avoid wasting paper and, secondly, to avoid getting dirty.
Even though we washed the floor that same morning, it is best not to use toilet paper to play with pets. It is best to use the cardboard rolls once the toilet paper is finished.
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