Won’t Somebody Think of the Pets?

Ceramic Cat DishEarly March. A particularly hard winter for a good deal of the US East Coast. Most of us rage and pace our homes, itching for something other than snow and wet and cold.

Sometimes we can get mired in our own depths and overlook the possibility that cabin fever can also influence our furry friends—particularly the dogs. It’s also easy to forget that by catering to the needs of our pets, we can relieve some of our own winter blues.

To keep the kids and the k-9’s up-beat, try a family game of hide and seek. Have one family member keep the dog in a room while the rest of the family hides. Then let the dog sniff out its family for a cuddle reward.

If you’re a single pet owner, try the game with a few of your dog’s toys. Gloomy days are a good time to teach scent and recognition. Dogchannel.com has some tips for training your dog this way. Though dogchannel.com uses hot dogs and grass (two things you don’t really want all over your carpets), the principals can be applied to other things. For instance, your car keys. When put in that perspective, these winter months can really come in handy.

As in-your-face as a bored dog can get, your cat can get bored too. Make sure your feline has a place to climb and scratch. Engage your cat with balls, or teases. Find a new use for that laser pointer with a game of hunt and pounce. Some cats enjoy watching videos and there are a selection designed specifically to engage your cat.

For some family feline entertainment, break out the catnip.

Catering to a pet’s needs isn’t a chore, it’s an opportunity.

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