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Fun In The Run!

Summertime is great for giving pets a chance to explore and enjoy the sunshine. But now that the days are getting a little bit wetter and windier, going outside is no longer as fun. However! There are still lots of ways you and your small pets can play indoors, away from the cold.

Preparing your home for your pets

There are a few things you need to consider before bringing your small animals indoors. Safety is key and so keeping them away from chewable wires – or even from scuttling under your feet while you pour hot drinks – is really important.

Clear a space and set up a playpen. There are lots of different sizes available and you can set them up in different ways depending on the size and shape of your room. Try out a few shapes until you’re happy.

Having a water resistant mat is also really important – not only to keep your carpets free from mess, but to protect your pet and give them something soft and clean to play on.

Of course having a barrier set up is no guarantee that your pet won’t escape. But if your rabbit is particularly jumpy, you can help keep things under control with a sun cover – just so they’re a bit more enclosed.

Small animals like hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs and rabbits are often frightened by loud noises so make sure the room is calm and quiet and any larger pets such as cats and dogs are kept out the room. Playtime can also be thirsty work so make sure you have your pet’s water bottle to hand as well.

Let the fun begin!

Small-pets

Once you have your safe spot all set up, you can bring your pet indoors. Keep them warm and help them feel safe with a variety of pet-friendly enclosures – guinea pigs especially love to panic and rabbits and hamsters are equally in a constant state of high-alert, so anything you can do to help make them feel settled is a great step to take. Edible or pet-friendly houses are perfect! If you don’t have any of these to hand, make sure you have a quiet area set up in your playpen using a bundle of hay.

Pet Play Tunnels

Play tunnels are great for small pets – they can hide, shuffle, sleep, run and play to their heart’s content! You can join them together to make an extra long tunnel and give them a little ruffle as they scuttle by using the holes at the top. Sit your pet at one end and place a couple of their favourite nibbles at the other, then watch them trundle down in intrigue as they head towards the food. Tunnels help pets to feel safe and enclosed. And the great thing about them is that when playtime is over, they collapse down for easy storage. There are different designs and shapes to help maximise the opportunity for adventure!

Make your own pet toys

You can have lots of fun making your own toys for your small pets. Rodents don’t just chew for fun -their front teeth never stop growing, so it’s essential for them to chew regularly or their teeth can get overgrown. Making toys for your animals is fun and easy to do – just make sure you choose pet friendly materials and don’t use any chemicals or small parts that could harm them.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Treat tunnels – get some toilet rolls and cut them into springy spirals. Then fill them with hay and hide a couple of pet friendly treats inside. Your furry companion will have fun rustling around while nibbling and investigating, and digging for treats.

An amazing maze – Why not make a fun maze for your fluffy pets? It’s easy to do and all you need is a couple of cardboard boxes. Get the first box and cut some thin slots down the left and right hand sides. Then chop up the second card boxes so you have some long, rectangular pieces to use as walls. Slide them in using the slots at the side of the first box and adjust them so they are at different lengths. Leave gaps as and where you like and then when you’re done, pop in your pet so they can shuffle their way round. Hide pet friendly treats around the maze so they can have fun seeking out snacks.

Wonderful wands – pets love to chase things when they play. Give them a new challenge with your very own pet wand! Get a disposable chopstick and tie some pieces of wool or string around the top – leave enough length so you can dangle them in front of your pet or wiggle them across the floor. On the opposite end tie some nibbles like carrot tops (not too many) and pellets from their food bowl, perhaps some knots of hay or even a couple of cucumber peelings (again, not too many). If you don’t want to use food, you could use feathers or a pet-friendly squeaky toy – though these might be best for kittens as the noise might frighten smaller pets!

Rustle and seek – Get some large pieces of card and curve them round to make a tunnel then wrap some pieces of wool round them to secure their shape. Loosely fill with hay and place them around the play pen. You pet can have lots of fun nuzzling, shuffling, hiding and investigating at their own leisure.

Cuddle time

young-girl-cuddling-guinea-pig

Playtime doesn’t just mean scampering about, it’s also a great way to spend time with your furry companion and give them the attention that helps them feel safe.

Having a play pen or using a pet tunnel is a great way of allowing them some space while having you nearby. And when they’re done running around and have worn out their little legs, you can scoop them up for a cuddle before bed time.

Getting cold outside? Give them somewhere nice and warm to snuggle up in. There are lots of different cosy caves and igloo beds that your pet might enjoy – especially when there’s a blizzard outside!

Fleecy inside and luxuriously soft, many of the beds can be either left free-standing or suspended in a hammock style – whichever suits your pet best.

Disclaimer: This content in this article is intended for information or entertainment purposes only, it is not intended to replace the advice of a vet or animal health professional. Your use of the information is entirely at your own risk and Me & My Pets assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of the information found on this site. If you have any questions or concerns over your pet's wellbeing you should consult your vet immediately.  

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