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Cozy Winter Activities for Pets & People

Winter has only just begun and it's getting cold out there. At Hearts at Home Pet Sitting, we love winter but recognize that not everyone is thrilled about the season's below-freezing temperatures and bone-chilling outdoor activities. For those of us who are homebodies - or become homebodies in the winter - here are some cozy winter activities for pets and people. These are sure to delight everyone, especially indoor cats and short-haired dogs!

Cozy Winter Activities for Pets & People: Watch a Movie

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This is likely the most obvious of our suggestions, but why not set up a cozy space with blankets and cushions and then choose a selection of pet-friendly movies to enjoy? You can find videos designed for pets with soothing sounds or nature scenes, creating a relaxing atmosphere for you and your furry friend(s.)

We know of a cat named Sammie who thoroughly enjoyed the movie Nine Lives in which the dad, who is kind of a jerk, somehow becomes a cat. Sammie would sit on the TV stand and watch the cat run from one side of the screen to the other. It was amazing to see him interacting with the TV and observing the feline character with such interest.

Cozy Winter Activities for Pets & People: Bake DIY Treats

dog treats
Treat Photo & Recipe by Pook's Pantry

We love homemade dog treats! Some treats can even appeal to cats, depending on the ingredients. From treats made with leftover holiday turkey to iced dog treats like the ones we shared in our December newsletter, your dog will be thrilled to stay home and bake treats he can eat.

When making treats, keep in mind that homemade treats don't keep as long as store-bought treats, therefore, don't make too many or opt for a recipe that allows for freezing extras.

Cozy Winter Activities for Pets & People: Create Indoor Obstacle Courses

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Create a mini obstacle course using household items. This is a great way to keep you and your pets active and engaged. You can include tunnels, jumps, and other obstacles that suit your pets' size and agility.

We saw many families set up obstacle courses for their kids and pets during the pandemic. We learned that the sky's the limit when it comes to using household items, imagination, and high-value treats to get our pets moving indoors.

Cozy Winter Activities for Pets & People: Play Games

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Invest in interactive toys that stimulate your pets mentally. Puzzle feeders, treat-dispensing toys, and other engaging games can keep them entertained for hours, especially if you fill them with their favorite treats.

If you prefer to be a part of the game, grab a wand toy for your cat and a flirt pole for your dog and get to work. Playing games with your pets allows them to exhibit hunting behaviors in a safe way. For our pets, hunting is both fun and biologically appropriate. Plus, it gets them moving, which stimulates both their brains and bodies. Learn about the importance of prey or hunting sequences for cats here. Learn more about flirt poles for dogs here.

hearts at home pet sitting and dog walking yorktown

At Hearts at Home Pet Sitting, we put many of these tips to work during inclement weather visits and visits with indoor cats. Because we make canine and feline enrichment a priority, the pets in our care get to enjoy playtime, exercise, and socialization in the safety and comfort of their home. Our in-home pet care services include travel pet sitting for cats and dogs as well as midday dog walking while our clients are working.

If you are new to Hearts at Home, please complete a new client questionnaire here. For more information, visit our website or contact us by email at or by phone at 757-745-9868.

Our pet sitters and dog walkers provide in-home pet care services for Yorktown, Poquoson, Newport News and Hampton, Virginia.

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