BY JILL WHALEN
Staying at home because of COVID-19 restrictions has been quite a change for both humans and their pets.
Just as pet owners aren’t used to being home all day, their dogs and cats aren’t used to their round-the-clock presence either.
Folks at the nonprofit Four Paws International say now is the time to spend more time with our pets — especially if they’ve been kept inside for longer times because of social distancing.
But what can you do to keep your pet occupied and fit?
Dog owners might consider hiding small treats around their house to create a scavenger hunt. Canines will use their senses to locate the rewards.
The same idea may be applied to a shell cup game. Hide a treat under one of three cups placed on the floor, move the cups as your dog watches and see if he can find the cup with the reward, Four Paws suggests.
Frozen treats also provide entertainment. Place food or treats in an ice cream container, fill with water and freeze. Dogs will enjoy waiting for the ice to melt to reveal the treat inside, according to Four Paws.
Owners might want to try teaching their dogs how to identify their toys by name. Ask your dog to fetch toys you’ve named “teddy,” “ball” or “dolly.”
If you have a cat, try a fishing game. Attach a small toy — such as a shuttlecock — to a string and swing through the room for him to chase.
Felines also like to chase balls. Throw a bouncy ball against a wall and see if your cat can catch it, Four Paws recommends.
Cats also enjoy chasing laser lights or lights from flashlights. Shine a flashlight in a dark spot in the room and see if your cat can “hunt” it.
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