With the groundhog’s declaration of six more weeks of winter (ugh!), you may be wondering – how am I supposed to keep my dog entertained?! The dog parks are mud pits, it’s pouring rain, and after a long day of work, it’s hard to want to go out and get soaked.
Regardless of weather, dogs need exercise. Even in snow or rain, they need mental and physical stimulation. However, there are days where the weather is too hot, too cold, or the rain too heavy to exercise your dog the way you may want to otherwise. We’re happy to provide you some helpful tips to relieve your bored dog in the comfort of your own home!
- Food Dispensing Toys – these are excellent entertainers. Rubber Kongs are a great example – these toys can be stuffed with a variety of treats, from kibble to peanut butter and beyond, that will keep your dog busy. Too easy? Freeze your Kong ahead of time to make the food retrieval harder. There are also a variety of other toys out there now, from maze bowls to IQ balls and Buster Cubes. Many of these great toys are available online or at local pet stores.
- Kibble Hunt – instead of giving your dog their food in a bowl (boring!), you can use your dog’s meals to put them to work. Hide small piles of kibble around the house and then release your dog to find them! At first, make the piles fairly easy to find, but once your dog gets the hang of the game, try hiding them in trickier spots.
- Shaping Games – shaping is a method of training where your dog tries to figure out what behavior you want based on when you offer treats. It provides great mental exercise for a dog, and a good shaping session can often leave your dog more tired than a run! 101 Things to Do with a Box is a great shaping game – click here to learn how to play!
- Play hide and seek! – this is a great way to exercise your dog and work on your recall skills. Each family member should grab a handful of tasty treats and then take turns hiding around the house. While hiding, call your dog’s name, and reward him or her generously when they arrive. When the treats are finished, say “All done!” – which is the cue for your next family member to call him or her.
- Trick Training – learning is exhausting physically and mentally, and can be a great way to tire your dog. Training together also builds your bond! Check out Kiko Pup on YouTube – she offers a variety of videos on how to train fun tricks!
Looking for more fun, engaging ways to entertain your dog, and strengthen your bond? Check out our recommended trainers list. Fun classes = happy dog and happy family!