How to keep your pet happy and healthy at home

January 5, 2022 - 3 min read

This article was written for the United Kingdom market and the advice provided may not be accurate for those in the United States.

As we battle wave after wave of coronavirus, many pet owners' normal routines continue to be uprooted. You might be working from home with your pet, finding yourself at home ill, or having to self-isolate because a contact has tested positive.

Don’t worry; there are plenty of fun games and activities to help keep your cat or dog stimulated and active while you're at home.

How to keep dogs stimulated at home

Here are a few games to keep canines busy.

Ditch the food bowl and try a snuffle mat

ManyPets's vet nurse, Sarah James, says you can add a bit of fun to simplest of pet activities by giving them food or treats.

Rather than using a bowl to feed your pet you can hide kibble in a snuffle mat. There are a few variants, but it's often a tasselled mat where a dog has to sniff out and dig around to get their food or treats that are hidden by the tassels.

It's far more challenging and invigorating than letting them wolf down their food. They have to use their noses to find the food and then pick it out with their paws and mouths. And it's possible to make your own at home.

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Make a fun food puzzle

If you don't have the materials to make a snuffle mat, there are plenty of other ways you can keep pets entertained with makeshift food puzzles. All you need is a muffin tin (or a similar container) and tennis balls.

Pop a treat in each hole of the muffin tin, place a tennis ball on top and put it on the floor for your cat or dog to work out how to get to the treat. They'll need to nudge the balls out of the holes to get the snack.

Put on a podcast for dogs

Have a look at My Dog's Favourite Podcast on Spotify, which features a range of carefully selected spoken word, sound, and original music designed to help dogs relax when they're left alone. It might be useful if you ever need to keep your dog in another room while you're on an important work call.

And if you want to listen to a podcast with your dog, why not try Dogcast with Clare Balding. We helped Clare make it!

Teach an old (or young) dog new tricks

Try teaching your dog a new trick or reinforcing commands they already know.

When you get back out into the world, you'll be able to show off how your dog can roll over and play dead.

Keep your training sessions fun, positive, and short. Aim for no more than 15 minutes, but they can be a few times a day.

How to keep cats stimulated at home

Outdoor cats might begin to feel understimulated if isolated at home.

Make a toilet roll treat dispenser

Fill an empty toilet roll with dry food and push the ends of the roll in so that they form a seal. Then cut small, kibble-sized holes on the outside of the toilet roll. Your cat will need to roll the toilet roll around to get the food out.

Make a box for your cat to hide in

You'll need an old t-shirt, a cardboard box, a blanket or cushion, and some safety pins.

  1. Cut off the top flaps of the cardboard box then put a blanket or cushion in the bottom of the box to make it cozy for your cat.

  2. Pull the t-shirt over the box and tuck the sleeves in against the box.

  3. Tighten the t-shirt in the back or use a few large safety pins to keep the back tidy.

It is no secret that cats love empty boxes, so if you have an unused, clean box, leave it in your feline friend's favorite place.

Irina Wells
Content Marketing Executive

Irina is a former content marketing executive for ManyPets. She has contributed to a number of personal finance sites, including Loot Financial Services and Claro Money.