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There are plenty of reasons to stay indoors these days – from the freezing snow spreading across the North and Midwest, to the rainy days looming in the Pacific Northwest and Southeast. The only perfect place to be right now is right here in Arizona!

But, if you can’t be here in Arizona, learn how you can keep pets occupied in your region with these helpful tips.

Make Feeding Time Fun

Make feeding time interesting with a new interactive pet feeder. These take the place of traditional (boring)

bowls and make feeding time fun for pets by activating their hunting instincts. Since the dog or cat has to ‘hunt” for their food, they eat much slower and have a better time doing it. The Aikiou Interactive Pet Feeders product line is made from food-grade, BPA-Free plastic and is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.

Keep Playtime Alive

Anything you can do to keep your pet active is a good thing. Right now, our cats’ favorite is the Neko Flies set of toys from Nekochan (read our review and see video here). This may seem like a simple concept, but it’s one that our cats demand each morning and if we don’t play, they become very frustrated. The Neko Flies - Interchangeable Toy lures keep your cats interested and active.

Our dogs are really into the Hide-A-Squirrel from Kyjen (read our review here). The log acts as a type of “puzzle” and the dogs must remove the squeaky squirrels to play with them. There are several ways they can do this, but which ever method of extraction they choose, the payoff is a fun noisemaker. We have the “super-large” model so the pups can share.

Experiment with Food

When you’re stuck indoors, there is nothing like baking to make the house feel warm and cozy. This is a great time to perfect your pets favorite meals or treats!

We begin with The Honest Kitchen Made Out of Love Cookbook cookbook (and if you haven’t picked this up, you need too). These are some truly innovative pet-friendly recipes your pets will adore. Even your family will be inspired to try a few (which is fine because they are all people-friendly too).

If you want to make it really easy, make some dog-bone-shaped biscuits (or trick up the humans by making people-cookies in the shape of dog bones). Sunbeam makes it easy with this fun machine!

Keep It Natural

Grow some grass. Not the illegal kind (ahem) but the legal oat, wheat, barley and rye types. Not only are they easy to grow, they are great for your dogs and cats digestive systems. It also helps to see a little green on a snowy day.



Keep them Active

Do Yoga. or Doga. Or Cat-yoga...

This is an actual thing... There is a new DVD on the market entitled FURociously Fit: The Yoga Companion for Walking Your Dog Fit. We have made it through part of the DVD (and only because we haven’t had much time to devote to it and the weather is beautiful here).

The FURociously Fit 20/30/40™ is a walking and yoga program for you and your dog! This dvd offers stretching before and after your walk, core work and upper body work to stay balanced, as well as a relaxation segment. The 20/30/40™ system refers to a 20-minute walk in the morning, 30 minutes at noon and 40 minutes in the evening for the best dog health. While we are lucky to get in a single walk a day, it's a great idea and enough to keep you occupied!

We can recommend this as a great indoor-outdoor activity that will keep you and your pets happy and healthy during the long winter months.

Teach Them New Tricks

Snow days are the perfect days to teach your pets new tricks. Here are a few suggestions if you're not feeling particularly creative:

  • Set up an indoor agility course.
  • Most every cat (and dog) loves a good game of "fetch"!
  • Try out some new toys (like a flashlight)
  • Teach them the basics of good citizen training.
  • Hide treats around the house and create a scavenger hunt.
  • Check out these Not so Stupid Pet Tricks for Cats

All of these things are fun activities that you and your pet will enjoy during the cold winter months. Most of them don't cost a thing and everyone will be a little happier for trying something new!

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Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.

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