Exercise is the most common New Year’s resolution for humans and there is no reason why it can’t be for your pet too! Indoor games can keep your pet active while giving them some quality one on one time. For dogs, try some new toys like a rope to play tug with. Fetch is also a great game to play indoors with small stuffed animals. To increase the activity level try tossing the toy up stairs (make sure the stairs have carpeting or a runner to prevent slipping). If your dog likes to chase, try attaching a stuffed animal to the end of a rope. Even though going outside is difficult this time of year, indoor open areas work well too. For cats try to mix up their toys and introduce some feathery or fur-like toys on “fishing poles” that will encourage stalking, leaping and pouncing- especially right before mealtime when your cat is hungry. Interactive toys are enjoyed by both dogs and cats especially ones that dispense treats!
Here are some tips for how the make the trip easier for you and your cat:
- Choose a cat carrier with a top that easily opens or lifts off.
- Keep the carrier out in the open in a safe place so your cat can adjust to going in and out. Throw treats inside from time to time to give your cat a treat for going in.
- Feed your cat inside the carrier.
- When your cat looks comfortable, start taking him or her on a tour of the house. When that feels good, start with short trips in the car.
- Make the trip as rewarding as possible. Offer treats and calming language. Keep the loud music and sharp turns to a minimum, especially during the first few trips.
- When you make your trip to our hospital bring along a favorite toy and/or a blanket with familiar smells.
- Most important: keep your cool! Cats can sense our emotions, if you’re calm, it will help them feel better, too.
It’s getting cold in Mechanicsburg! Don’t leave dogs outdoors when the temperature drops. Most dogs, and all cats, are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. Regardless of the season, shorthaired, very young, or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Short-coated dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater during walks.