Spreading paw-sitivity

Updated: Apr 04, 2020, 10:11 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

Dogs and cats are feeling as hemmed in as you are. An animal lover picks the best apps to keep your four-legged friends entertained

Pooja Sinha Roy at home with her pets
Pooja Sinha Roy at home with her pets

All right. So, many of us are caught in a funk during this lockdown period. With only a limited number of things to do, we are running out of options to keep ourselves entertained. That holds true not just for us, but also for pets cooped up in people's homes. Their play time in the outdoors is restricted. There are no visitors to divert their attention. And they might even have grown tired of the toys they have at home. That's where certain apps and sites come in, promising to add a dose of fun to your pet's life during this challenging time. But do they work? We invited Andheri resident Pooja Sinha Roy, parent to five cats and two dogs, to try three these out with her pets and share her feedback. Check out what she had to say.

Play the waiting game

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This game is similar to the one with a fish and meant for cats, except that here, you have a rabbit to lure dogs instead. Roy tells us that it will take a few days for your pet to get acquainted with the app. "It's a whole process, really, where you have to get them to sit still and pay attention. I haven't done that with Aiko [her dog] yet, and he just took my phone and ran away when I tried it with him," she says, adding that she will now have to train him before he gets a hang of the game.

Download Games for Dogs

Size does matter

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This game involves a moving fish on a screen, which a cat is meant to touch and capture to gain points. "It's like that arcade game where things pop up suddenly and you have to bang them with a hammer," Roy says. She adds that her cat would have shown more interest if she'd played the game on a bigger screen like an iPad, as opposed to a mobile phone. "The logic is similar to how, when I myself am watching something on my phone, no one cares. But when I am watching the same thing on a computer, I can feel people's eyes glued to it."

Download Cat Fishing

Bound and trained

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Humans of Canines is a social media page that Poorvaja Kumar has started, where she plays the role of a behavioural therapist for dogs. There are a number of exercises she posts that are aimed at increasing your pet's agility, attentiveness and concentration. She has also started a series called Corona Pet Se Pyar Hai, where she posts challenges for your pooch to undertake. Roy tells us, "There are games that involve Aiko looking at an object in my hand without diverting his attention. He's too much of a loafer, though, and this site is ideal for dogs who have already undergone some amount of training."

Log on to Humans of Canines on Facebook

More useful sites for pets

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Apart from apps and social media platforms, there are a number of websites that pertain to pets. SoPets, for example, is a blog that offers advice and a gallery of fun photos. The site called petgames.mypet-care.com, on the other hand, has dress-up competitions and other games. And if you have a hamster as a pet, log on to BabblePie, a blog that tells you how to build a comfortable home for your beloved rodent. Don't have a hamster but a parrot? Check out Lakeland Parrots and Birdkeepers, which helps you connect with enthusiasts from across the world. But coming back to dogs, Doggie Buddy has 52 tricks that you can teach your dog; this being the best time to undertake this task given all the time at hand.

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