Written By: MJ Plaster
Humans buy into “living easy” in the summer, but our pets still want to play. Take a look at some summertime games for pets to help keep them active and cool.
It’s summer, and you’re planted firmly in your hammock, downing gallons of lemonade. You’ve switched your iPod to a playlist of classic summer oldies — “Summer in the City,” “Summer Breeze,” and anything by the Beach Boys — and exercise is the last thing on your mind. Your pets, however, have a different idea: They want to play now!
So why not make them happy, and yourself as well? Check out these fun games for pets, and find one or two that you’d like to play with your dog or cat.
1. Fetch and Swim Circuit Training
If your dog has never met a body of water he could resist, and he’s a mighty fetcher, combine the two into “circuit training.” Start by playing fetch on dry land, and then move into the water with him — don’t just sit on the sidelines. This allows you and your dog to cool down while getting some exercise you might otherwise skip during the dog days of summer. If the lake is large or deep, you may want to use a dog lifejacket. Also, make certain the your pup has easy access into and out of the water. Caution: Keep an eye on your pup at all times, ensure he drinks plenty of water on dry land before going in the water, and be very mindful of signs of tiring or overheating.
2. Hide and Seek
This is one of the games for pets that works equally well with dogs and cats. Start by letting your pet sniff what you’re going to hide. Then hide it in increasingly difficult places for your pet to find. For dogs, hide treats — for cats, a toy filled with catnip. Your pets will go to increasingly greater lengths to try to uncover the hidden treasures!
3. Play Ball
An inexpensive ball could become your cat’s toy of choice. For this exercise, use a Ping-Pong or noise-filled ball, or a small toy that can scoot across the floor. Situate your cat across the room and then roll the ball across the floor. Your cat will run after it and swat it back at you. After a while at this, you’ll be surprised at her aim! Watch the dog come out of the woodwork with his favorite toy in his mouth once you start this game. If only you could train your dog to retrieve the toys and put them away at the end of the exercise!
4. Brain Games
Is there anything that tablets can’t do these days? Who would have guessed there would be tablet games for pets! You’ll find several downloadable games for cats on the Internet. Games include laser action, fishing, mouse chases, and more. It makes sense if you’ve ever watched your cat interact with a TV or your computer screen. Caution: Before turning your cat loose with these games, install a screen protector on your tablet.
5. Go Fish
No feline home is complete without a kitty fishing pole. Move the pole around in the air so your cats have to jump to catch the “bait” or wiggle it around the floor and watch them go crazy. Caution: Do this in an open space to prevent injury.
This summer, let out your inner child by letting loose and enjoying a relaxing game or two with your pet!
Do you and your pet have any special games that you play together? Let us know in the comments!