By Michelle Fouchi Esneaults

When it’s rainy or cold outside, you should bring your cat or dog indoors. Keeping your furry companion occupied will keep them from getting bored and turning to unwanted destructive behavior while inside.

Keep your cat engaged by providing a variety of toys that they can either play with by themselves or that you can play with together. If you have a readily accessible window, create a perch so they can watch outside activity. If that isn’t possible, cat videos are available that imitate the sounds and movements of the great outdoors. Encourage your cat to explore by providing boxes and bags.  Another option is a cat tree that will give your cat the opportunity to climb and view the world from up high. If your cat is an outdoor cat, now is the time to train them to use an indoor litterbox until it is safe to go outside.

Dogs also need exercise and stimulation when the weather forces them indoors.  A garage or a large hallway can provide space for a game of fetch or tug-o-war. If you have stairs, let them run up and down the stairs for exercise. Play hide and seek by showing them a favorite toy, hiding it, then teaching them the command “find.” Set up an obstacle course using boxes, chairs and other sturdy objects, and teach your dog to go over, under and through. Rewarding with a treat when they learn a new trick will provide plenty of incentive. If you can’t stay home with your dog, there are plenty of options to choose from, including doggy daycares and spas or setting up a playdate with a friend’s dog.

Keeping your dog or cat active indoors will ensure they’re safe and healthy no matter the weather. 

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