NASHVILLE (WSMV) - Keeping dogs and cats busy indoors is relatively easy. There are different categories of toys that we use to do that.

One is food toys. For people who are still feeding their dog or cat out of a bowl, consider food toys, especially for cats who like to hunt. You can get food toys that get stuffed and hidden and so the cat must go hunting to find them.

The same thing can be done with dogs. You can create a scavenger hunt. Stuff their food in some type of food toy, either, a commercial product, or something you make yourself. Then show the dog that you’re hiding it in different places, and the dog must go on a scavenger hunt to get it.

Another is interactive toys. Whether it’s a cat or a dog, there are species-specific wand toys. For dogs, those are called “flirt poles. But flirt poles and wand toys for cats are great for animals that like to chase things.

Now, this has owner-involvement in it. But you can get a lot of energy out of an animal when you are at the other end of a long line that’s got a toy.

There are other kinds of activities you can engage in with both cats and dogs; things like hide and seek. Go to one part of the house and call your animal.

For cats, it’s about hiding around corners and peeking. For dogs, it’s usually about just calling their name and then they come to find you, and there’s a little bit of excitement and you repeat.

Finally, some toys are self-propelled. These kinds of things need a little bit of adult supervision because we don’t want dogs running into furniture to try to get the ball that ran under. Or, cats losing their minds after the toy got stuck behind something.

But the owner doesn’t have to be quite as intimately involved in the activity if the toy itself is self-propelled.

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