It doesn’t have to be “Stuck” Inside
This winter, brainstorm activities to do with your dog while you are both inside due to weather. Just because you can’t go out, doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with nothing to do. It can be challenging to keep dogs entertained, especially those that need that extra activity to keep them occupied. Pups that are very active need tasks, and leaving them without something to do can sometimes lead to destructive tendencies, especially if they are left unattended.
You might not be able to keep them entertained with your usual walk, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun! We wanted to kick off this winter season by helping with some enrichment suggestions:
Transform your game of fetch into an indoor version for a nontraditional game of toss and return. If you have a room that doesn’t have too many pieces of furniture, or with a little extra space like a family room, transform this into a place of play! Soft tosses (preferably with soft toys) in a roomy, indoor space are a great way to get your pup some exercise while perfecting their fetch skills! Just make sure you choose toys that won’t damage your living space in the process.
Plan an indoor playdate. You can get your pup together with some of their pals, (or your pals that might have pups) for play time! This is beneficial for them to get socialization if they are able to be around other dogs, and it will allow them to expend some of their energy.
Puzzle toys are wonderful to keep the mind active. These include a range of different toys that you can purchase for your dog, that give them fun ways to eat their food or treats. Puzzle toys can be a treat dispensing ball, a feeder with different slats or even a toy like a Kong that makes them work for what they get! By feeding them this way, this makes them work to get to their snacks, therefore keeping them entertained for extended periods of time.
A scent game is a great way to get their senses engaged! Dogs have so many sensory receptors in their noses, which is why it is important to keep this part of their body activated. With just one sniff of something, a dog can already tell so much! You can hide treats around in different rooms or places, and have your dog search for them. Start with an easy one saying a cue phrase like “find this” or “get it” and throw the treat on the ground. Practice this a few times throwing the treat further. Go as far as having your dog watch you hide it behind someone and using the phrase that you chose. You can then gradually make it harder for them find, eventually putting them in all different places and having them truly use their nose to look.
Sign them up for a Class
There are places that you can take your pup for a playgroup or obedience class. Our partners at Zoom Room Reno offer many different levels and types of classes! This is a way to keep them occupied indoors and is a way to still get out of the house!
Create a new activity you can do together!
You can also find new things to do that are special to the two of you, or whatever works best for your household. You can bake dog-friendly treats together, which we have a recipe for here. This is both fun and delicious! You can make up a new game to play such as hide and seek or tug-of-war. Just make sure to call it quits while you are both having fun, extended play may get your pup slightly overstimulated. You can even turn a room or the whole place into a fun obstacle course that the two of you can do together!
For more fun enrichment tips, check out the links below: