Having a pet in a pest control free apartment comes with its own set of challenges, but once you figure out how to meet your pet’s physical activity requirements and build a schedule, it will get easier. Unfortunately, many people still struggle with how to keep their pets entertained inside. Even if a dog gets the recommended amount of physical exercise each day, they might still have excess energy they need to release in some way. Pets with extra energy who are bored tend to get into trouble in the form of chewing or tearing stuff up, excessive begging for attention, and may even show signs of anxiety.
Keeping your pet entertained in your apartment or home is just a small part of being a pet parent, but it’s necessary, especially for pets with anxiety. Dogs with anxiety typically have excess energy even after they’ve been exercised and may feel anxious when there are people in your home, or they see other dogs from the window. You can help ease pet anxiety through mental stimulation inside. Mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise because it keeps pets focused and calm. Here are a few ways to keep your pet entertained in your apartment.
1. Treat-Dispensing Toys
Having apartment pets means finding some way to keep them active. After all, you can’t just open a sliding door and let them go play in the yard, as most landlords require your dog to be leashed when in public. Believe it or not, you can give your dog some physical exercise and mental stimulation with just one dog toy: A KONG is a treat-dispensing toy that can keep dogs occupied for as long as a treat is inside. All you have to do is fill the KONG with anything from peanut butter, KONG filling, cheese, wet food, or treats, and let your dog slap it around on the floor to get the treats out.
Of course, KONG is just one brand that offers treat-dispensing toys. Depending on how good your dog is at getting the treats to dispense, you can find a ton of different shapes and sized treat-dispensing toys. Remember, pets are intelligent, so eventually, your dog might figure out the best way to slap the toy on the floor to make treats fall out, so you might have to upgrade to a different brand or a more challenging treat-dispensing toy.
Treat dispensing toys allow your pup to focus on trying to solve a puzzle. Because your pet just wants the treats inside the toy, they need to use their brains to think of the fastest way to get them, which can be tiring for a dog; after all, they’re not used to solving puzzles.
Pet parents love treat-dispensing toys because they let the dog focus on a single, healthy activity that can help them get tired out when they have too much energy.
Be careful when relying on treat dispensing toys to keep your dog entertained. Feeding your dog too many treats can upset their tummy or cause weight gain.
Dogs love bones because they satisfy their natural urge to chew. Because dogs are the descendants of wolves, they love chewing on bones and can use them to clean their teeth and massage their gums. However, domesticated dogs should never chew on untreated, natural bones; instead, you can find a wide variety of healthy, easily digestible bones for your dog to chew.
You may also choose to feed your dog rawhides, which can give them a sense of accomplishment. Dogs love finishing things and having jobs, and rawhides can get chewed faster than the average bone. Many dogs also prefer the softness of rawhides because they become soft when they’re moist. However, vets recommend against giving your dog rawhides because they can get stuck in their stomachs.
Even if a rawhide is labeled as easily-digestible, you should be careful when feeding your dog any type of rawhide or bone. If you notice your dog breaking off large chunks of bones or rawhides, you should take it away so they can’t choke on anything or get pieces stuck in their digestive tract.
3. Long-Lasting Treat Chews
If your dog doesn’t like bones, you can try getting them a long-lasting treat chew. Treat chews don’t last as long as bones, but they’ll keep your dog entertained for at least a few hours. You can also put a long-lasting chew in a treat-dispensing toy to make your dog have to work for their treat.
A treat-dispensing toy is technically a puzzle, but there are other types of puzzles to keep your pet entertained. Of course, they all require treats to incentivize your pet. Most beginner-level puzzles require your pet to move pieces of a puzzle around to find their treats. Puzzle toys are a great way to keep your dog entertained while helping train their brains to be smarter.
When looking for puzzles, always look for one that can be changed based on your dog’s skill level. While your dog might need to be trained how to use the toy at first, they could become bored once they get the hang of it.
5. Solo Tug Toy
If your dog loves playing tug, but you’re not always around to play, you can get them a solo tug toy that will stick to a wall or the floor. If you set this toy up correctly, your dog can have hours of play that will leave them happily exhausted even when you’re not home to play with them.
6. Spending Time Together
Of course, nothing keeps your pet entertained better than spending time with you. Your pet doesn’t have a job or anything else going on; you’re their entire life, so it’s essential to spend time together. You can do anything in your apartment, including moving around, playing a safe game of chase, playing tug, or teaching your pet new tricks. You can even spend time napping together. Whatever you choose to do, your dog will be entertained by the simple fact you’re spending time with them.
Marné Amoguis holds a B.A. in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.