by Sarah Halfpenny
1. Change up their daily routine
Feed your pet at a different time and in different ways. Scatter feeding (scattering dry food on the floor, the grass or on a snuffle mat) encourages them to use their nose and makes dinner time more interesting. Go one step further and hide food in a Kong or similar fillable toy or play ‘hide and seek’ with it around the house.
2. Provide mental stimulation
Grab an old towel for tug-o-war; create an obstacle course using chairs and boxes; play fetch by individually naming toys for your dog to retrieve; use a flashlight or laser pointer to get your cat curious; freeze treats into ice cubes to be played with until they melt. So many enriching activities are close at hand!
3. Let’s get physical
Take your pet out for walks every day, but vary where you go and what time you go. A treadmill can replace long walks for large dogs and even some cats like it! A playpen with fake grass and toys can provide safe indoor fun for rabbits or other small pets.
4. Designate a safe space
Pets normally nap when their owners are out, but with everyone home during lockdown they’re not getting as much rest as they need. Provide a quiet spot like a spare bedroom, bathroom or laundry, with a cosy bed and some favourite toys and treats.
5. Try new activities that benefit them
Improve your skills by cooking recipes for pet treats – you’ll have a willing furry friend to sample them! Try making a DIY collar, clothes or even an essential oil perfume. There are plenty of online tutorials, and once you’re done you can take some adorable photos to share with family and friends.