Feel like you and all your housemates have been trapped inside for…well, forever? Are the kids – both the human and furry ones—fed up and fidgety? Got a minute? Here’s something to keep everyone entertained at least a for little while.
Best Friends Animal Society unearthed this video demonstrating how to make dog and cat toys at home with items you already have around the house. Just be sure the little ones are supervised with scissors! If you end up with more toys than you can use, consider donating some to a local animal shelter or rescue group.
Looking for more ideas to keep the pets and people busy?
For canine companions:
Make ice-block toys. These “toys” will keep dogs occupied for hours and are a nice treat on a warm day. They are easy to make: Place a few toys in a bowl or bucket, fill the bucket with water, and freeze it. Another idea for a frozen treat: Freeze chicken or beef broth in popsicle molds or drinking cups. You can also make pupcicles by freezing combinations of peanut butter, bananas, kibble and or yogurt in ice cube trays, with carrot stick handles. It’s a good idea to supervise the dog enjoying the treat.
Play hide-and-seek. It’s not just kids who love this game — dogs love it, too! Keep dogs mentally and physically active by making them think and search for their treats. Some suggestions:
- Bury toys or treats in a sand box.
- Hide toys and treats around the house. (The kids can give clues like, “You’re getting warmer!)
- Place toys or treats in ladles and hang from trees.
- Place toys or treats in logs or other hiding places if you have a yard.
For our feline friends:
Create cat furniture. Provide cat furniture for climbing and romping. You can buy ready-made cat trees and other furniture, but you don’t have to go that route. Some cats are just as happy with cardboard boxes and paper bags to investigate and play in. There are many terrific websites with instructions for making your own cat furniture; simply do a search for “how to make cat furniture.”
Grow catnip: To treat your cat to fresh catnip, grow it yourself. Try catnip-filled toys too.
Plant wheat grass: Grow wheat grass for your cat to chomp on. You can purchase pet wheat-grass kits either online or at pet supply stores.
Install a bird feeder: Place a bird feeder outside a window where your cat can watch the birds.
Buy or build a feline window perch: To offer your cat a better view and a spot to sunbathe, buy a window perch or make one yourself.
Here are a couple more activities that you may enjoy doing with either cats or dogs:
- Read to your pet: Read aloud or sing to your cats, and have your children join in.
- Teaching your pet tricks: Both cats and dogs can learn tricks, like “sit” and to come when called, using treats as a reward. The best method for doing this is clicker training.