Dogs and Cats are fabulous pets – they love us as much as we love them and they certainly love it when we spend time with them.
Dogs can often amuse themselves with a yard of toys for a while but all day every day and they become bored. Boredom = destructive behaviours and barking – things that bug the neighbours and can be costly if they destroy your freshly laid gardens or chew your new expensive shoes.
Walking and obedience classes will keep them busy but what else can you do?
Whilst obedience is important, playtime is equally important. Interaction with you is what they want – they want fun and love nothing more than to spend time with you. There are games you can play with your dog – some are games you can play indoors which can be good for wet weather- some you can get the kids to play with the dog. You can also use some games to help teach your dog how to play. Note – it is probably a good idea if your dog knows a few basic commands before playing some of these games.
Hide and Seek – This one does require a little bit of training as it requires your dog to sit and stay while you move out of sight. Find a hiding spot and call out to your dog… perhaps squeak the toy or shake it. Reward with praise and hand over the toy when your spot is discovered.
Fetch – A good game of fetch can be played almost anywhere- indoors with a soft toy and outdoors with a ball or disc. For those dogs that love to run and to also avoid handling a slobbered over ball, why not use a Ball Launcher? You can get them right here in Furrkidz Galore.
Tug of War – Playing tug-of-war is some of the most fun we can have with our dogs. Played by the rules, tug will strengthen your dog’s self-control and teach her to respond to you even when she’s amped. The consequence for breaking a rule is that the game ends, so dogs that love tug generally learn the rules PDQ.
Two quick cautions before the fun: if your dog acts possessive over food, toys, or space, consult a behaviour specialist before you play tug. In fact, consult a behaviour specialist anyway. Also, if your dog mouths hard when excited, keep tug-of-war games brief and low-key. Interrupt play often.
Another version of Hide and Seek is to use your dog’s favorite treats and get their highly developed sense of smell to find them. Put your dog in another room and place the treats in various places around the room. Bring them in and tell them to find the goodies. You may, especially if the dog is young or has a short attention span, put their leash on and guide them to areas so they can explore.
Beach – Most dogs love the beach. It’s a place to run, play, enjoy the water and they get to do it with their favorite human/s. Frisbees, Balls and just you yourself are great things to play with and out in the fresh air. * NB – slip slop slap for you and be sure to be sun smart with your dog too! If they are light in color they may need zinc-ing on nose and tips of ears.
Cats are a totally different species.. (Cat owners will say Duh) but they spend a large time of their day sleeping and tend to enjoy games at night when you like to sleep. If you have more than one, like I do, it can sound like an elephant stampede as they chase each other up and down hallways, stairs and up and over anything in their way – even if it is you!
When they concede to give you some time to amuse them, especially as kittens) it is advised NOT to hide your hands under blankets etc. as they will bite scratch the mystery movement and they will take that as licence to do that. This can be painful in the middle of the night as sharp little razor like claws grab at your feet under the doona. Sometimes connecting and waking you from sleep in the most unpleasant way.
Its best, and they do love, wand toys – items where they jump to catch an item that is tantalisingly close. Let them get it, move it away and do it again-and again. Da Birds are a great toy as they mimic a bird flying through the air – Cats love them. They are a simple toy, feathers on the end of a wand, but they get the cats jumping and exercising. This is important, especially for indoor cats. Cats will let you know when it’s game over by simply walking away.
Check out our range of cat toys here
Balls, often with bells in them, bright little objects they can flick around. Don’t bother with expensive toys, as more often than not they will prefer the box the item came with.
Although cats are often solitary animals and happy amusing themselves, they do love you to spend time playing with them.
If you are a busy person, always on the go, why not consider getting two cats so they can keep each other company?
Enjoy the games and your cat/s will too until they become bored and just turn away and ignore your suggestions to have another go.
If you want a great selection of toys for your pets – you are in the right spot. Roll on over to the shop and see what we can tempt you with..