Is your pet bored? The answer might surprise you…

When was the last time you felt bored?

It probably drove you crazy. Reading didn’t work. There was nothing good on TV. Even Netflix couldn’t keep you entertained.

Now imagine how your pet must feel when they’re bored. A bored pet is never a good thing – they’re bound to do something messy (like, say, chew up your favorite slippers) or dangerous.

It’s not good for their health, either. In fact many pets are bored at home and develop health problems: Obesity – you guessed – is very common, but idiopathic cystitis (a form of bladder infection) happens mostly in bored indoor cats.

According to a report released by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association in 2011, female pet owners spend 28 minutes per week playing with their pets. Male owners come in at 19 minutes. That’s not a lot when you consider there are 10,080 minutes in a week. No exercise or activities of any kind can lead to obesity.

But all is not lost. Here are a few things you can do to keep your pet moving and thinking, even when you’re not there.

Cat Tunnels

You don’t have to spend money to keep your kitty entertained. The next time you go to the grocery store, ask for paper bags. You can then cut holes at the bottom of the bags and tape them together. Instant tunnels! Of course, they won’t last forever, as any Markham vet would tell you. But they do the trick in a jiffy.

Can’t get paper bags? Grab a box. Cats love to play in boxes.

Go for Walks

Walking is an excellent form of exercise for both humans and animals. Whether you walk at the park, around your neighborhood, or in a veterinary clinic parking lot, your dog can explore, sniff, and find new friends. To keep the momentum going, add it to your routine. A quick walk before work or after dinner can keep boredom at bay.

Can’t take Fido out yourself? Your veterinarian may know a few professional dog walkers who can help.

Plastic Bottle Treat Dispenser

In nature, most animals keep busy trying to find food. Why not do this at home. If your pet is food motivated and loves to solve puzzles, create a plastic bottle treat dispenser. Watch this Youtube video

There are two ways you can do this.

One involves taking a regular water bottle, cutting a few holes in it, and placing food inside. Your pet will have to push the bottle around to get anything out, and this will keep them busy.

Want something a bit more complicated? You’ll need to know your way around drills, but this tutorial can walk you through creating a spinning bottle toy.

Keep Things Fresh with Toys

As they say, variety is the spice of life. Put Fido or Fluffy’s toys on rotation to keep their interest. Leaving the same things out all the time is bound to lead to restlessness.

Need ideas or recommendations? A quick call to a Markham veterinary clinic can solve the problem.

Use The Outdoors

A rousing game of fetch is sure to keep any pooch excited and fit. Your vet will be impressed! Of course, for the kitties in your life, you can’t go wrong with a catio. Catios keep pets happy in a safe, stimulating outdoor environment.

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Dr. Ernst Marsig, veterinarian in Markham

Fear Free Certified Practitioner

Practicing Veterinary Medicine in Markham for a Long and Happy Life of ALL Your Pets.

Animal Hospital of Unionville, a veterinary clinic on the north side of  Hwy 7, serving all pets in Markham, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Stouffville, and North York since 1966. We are your family vets for dogs, cats, pocket pets (rabbits, chinchillas, gerbils, mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, skinny pigs, etc.), ferrets, and birds (budgies, cockatiel, parrots, amazon, cockatoo, love birds, conures, African greys, finches, canaries, etc.). We pride ourselves to provide cost effective veterinary medicine and give you options for treatments. Some may think our services as cheap, but our goal is to give good value.

Disclaimer: No part of this website constitutes medical advice. Readers are advised to consult with their veterinarian.

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