Now is the perfect time to practice enrichment activities that stimulate the minds of our pets and strengthen our bonds. For instance, Becker and his wife recently adopted a senior dog named Quin’C and have been teaching her new tricks by rewarding her with praise and treats.
“Dogs are lifelong learners,” he said.
We can play games with our dogs, such as creating a scent hunt by hiding little bits of kibble or treats around the home — under the bed, at the side of a dresser, or the top of stairs. Becker noted it’s important to avoid hiding treats in the couch to keep it from being “disemboweled.”
Socialize your pet. Meeting new people and other pets improves the confidence of your pet. Plus, having extra playmates will help relieve some of your pet’s built-up energy.
“Dogs are so food-driven, especially if you do it before their meal, it'll be absolutely joyous,” he said.
If children are home from school, they can create do-it-yourself projects to make toys for pets. Cats love batting at feathers tied to the end of a stick or string because it engages their prey drive.The Beckers recently cut holes in a box to create a whack-a-mole game for their dogs. Becker lay on the floor poking a turkey dog through the holes, letting the delighted dogs eat a little bit from time to time.