Keep Pets Healthy and Fit This Winter with Five Games from Petco

Indoor games keep dogs and cats active, prevent boredom and promote bonding with pet parents

Jan 14, 2014, 08:03 ET from Petco

SAN DIEGO, Calif., Jan. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The playground isn't the only place for games. As a matter of fact, when the weather is cold outside, indoor games are a great way to keep pets active and healthy. When a pet is cooped up in the house not getting outdoors for regular exercise, it may start exhibiting negative behaviors such as chewing furniture and other personal items. The solution? Have some fun with them by playing these five indoor games that will keep their mind and body active. Plus, it's a great way for pet parents to bond with their furry companion.

Red Light, Green Light: This schoolyard favorite is easily converted into a fun game for dogs. Use the training commands "come" and "stay" to cue dogs when to walk and stop. Pets need mental stimulation to stay alert.  Refreshing training commands will not only get them out of that comfy bed, but will also exercise their minds. Don't forget to reward them for a game well played.

Hide and Seek: Teach a dog to "stay" before hiding in another room of the house. After finding that secret spot, call the pet by his or her name and keep calling the pet until he or she finds the hiding spot. If the house has stairs, it's a great idea to put the dog downstairs while the person hiding goes up so the dog burns extra calories going up and down those stairs. This is also a great game to get the entire family involved in. Everyone can hide while the pet "stays." Whoever the dog finds first, gets to shower the pet with love! Playing games together will help pet and pet parent connect, increasing that ever powerful human-animal bond.

Cat Teasers: Cats need to be kept active just like dogs. Although outside exercise may never be a part of their regular routine, felines can still feel the effects of the cold weather. Try using a cat teaser to get them up and moving. Cat teasers provide a great way to give felines some exercise cleverly disguised as fun running, chasing and jumping. This activity encourages a healthy life, prevents boredom and promotes bonding between pet and pet parent.

Musical Chairs: Planning a winter doggie play date? Play a game of musical chairs to get pets moving. Just like regular musical chairs, but without the chairs. Pets and pet parents will walk in a circle and when the music stops the last pet to "sit" is out. This game will help dogs socialize with other friends, as well as reinforce one of the most basic dog training commands.

DOG: Much like the favorite basketball game, HORSE, a dog must complete a trick and then another dog must complete the same trick. If that dog fails to do it they get a "D." The first pet to spell D-O-G is out and concedes the win to his or her pal. However, it's easy to start again because dogs don't typically take the loss too hard. Learning new tricks is a great way to keep pets mentally alert, plus 10 minutes of thinking play can expend the same amount of energy as 45 minutes of active play so this simple activity can keep pets in shape during the cold winter months. For guidance on how to begin teaching new commands, Petco Certified dog trainers are available to give advice to pet parents at their nearest Petco store.

For more information on keeping pets active this winter and other cold weather tips visit

About Petco
Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that focuses on nurturing the powerful relationship between people and pets. We do this by providing the products, services, advice and experiences that keep pets physically fit, mentally alert, socially engaged and emotionally happy. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,250 stores nationwide and in Puerto Rico, including more than 80 Unleashed by Petco locations, a smaller format neighborhood shop; nine Pooch Hotel destinations for pet daycare, boarding and spa services; and The Petco Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, has raised more than $115 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, help find homes for more than 350,000 animals every year.

Krista Lamp