Here's how to keep your pet busy while you're at home during the Coronavirus pandemic

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Pet adoptions and fostering numbers have taken off since many people have been working from home.

Several animal shelters around the country, and here in Chicago, have even run out of pets.

RELATED: Chicago Animal Care and Control runs out of adoptable dogs for 1st time ever

If you're a new pet parent, you might have some difficulty coming up with some things your pet can do while you're working or learning from home.

ABC 7 Chicago talked with a local pet expert and learned about a few things you can do to keep your pet engaged.

"Interactive toys keep them busy," Craig White with Pet Supplies Plus said. "You've got to find something because they're always wanting to get into something."

White recommended buying something like a squeeze ball toy that you can put treats into. That way your dog is running around playing with the ball, but also has the objective of getting the treat.

The toys are designed to be chewed and knawed on, so they should keep your dog busy.

For cats, White recommended fishing poles with stuffed toys, like fish, on the end. He also said scratch posts would occupy your cats' time.
White also said that a treat scavenger hunt could be a good idea. You can put treats around your home in different places where your pup wouldn't normally look.

The hunt keeps them busy and gives you time to focus. But remember, not to go overboard on the number of treats.

"We got to watch it because right now we're giving them treats for everything they're doing," White said. "It's not a bad thing but you've got to watch it because they could gain weight from it."

Finally, White recommended outdoor time. Even if you're giving treats in moderation, you still want to make sure your pet is active.

"The dog parks are closed, but that still does not mean that you can't take your dog for a walk," White said. "Get them out of the house, like we should be getting out of the house to get some fresh air."

When you do go out, remember to stick to the social distancing guidelines.

Jalyn Henderson is a Community Journalist at ABC 7 Chicago. She tells stories on the North Side of Chicago in neighborhoods like Uptown, Edgewater, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, West Ridge and Rogers Park. If you have a story to share in these neighborhoods you can send an email to Jalyn.L.Henderson@abc.com
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