No one wants to go outside when it’s cold, snowy and awful out. This is not only be applicable to you, but to your dog as well. When temperatures reach those terrible winter lows, it can actually be painful for your pup to play outside. Luckily, there are some things you can do to entertain that energetic dog of yours without setting foot outside. And your furry friend will love not only the exercise, but the play time with his favorite person. Here are five indoor activities for you and your pup for those cold, wet, icky days.
1. Stair Games
Having a young and rambunctious pup requires time and energy dedicated to – well – wearing them out. After all, “a tired dog is a good dog.” Though not everyone will have an indoor set of stairs at their disposal, congratulations to those of you who do. Stairs are a great tool to wearing your pup out and getting them that exercise they so desperately seek.
There are a few fun ways to use stairs to your advantage, pup parents. Does you dog love a game of fetch? If so, plop down at the top of the stairs and get to playing. The erratic bounce of the toys off the stairs will make this game of fetch even more fun than the traditional version. Have your dog’s favorite treats on hand to reward him for bringing the toy back and let the fun continue.
If your pup isn’t a huge fan of fetch, don’t fret. Have a friend or family member sit at the bottom of the stairs and you sit at the top. Have treats or a favorite toy on either end and let your pup romp back and forth. A few minutes on the stairs and he’ll be panting away.
2. Laser Pointer
Not just for cats, the laser pointer will be your inside-day secret dog-tiring weapon (try saying that five times fast). If you are one of the lucky pet parents whose dog finds the laser pointer an incredible enigma, use it to your advantage.
Your dog will love chasing that little red dot around. Make sure to move any breakables out of their path, though. They will stop at nothing to catch that elusive spot. If you are really in the mood for a fun way to exercise your pup, both physically and mentally, you can use the laser pointer to help. By guiding your dog to certain places or spot with the laser pointer and than associating this place with a word (and a delicious treat), you can each your dog to go to these spots on command. To teach your dog to “go to bed,” for example, you can guide him to his doggy bed while saying go to bed. When he gets all four paws in the bed say “good” and give that sweet pup a treat. Fun and learning can go together!
3. Hide and Seek
This game isn’t just for babysitters anymore. Dog parents can use this game as a fun indoor activity. The rules are the same as the ones you grew up playing with. Have your dog sit and stay. Give them a treat if you want to buy yourself some more time. Quickly go hide someplace in the house.
Don’t be afraid to get creative, this will make the game that much more fun for your pup. When you are ready for your dog to seek, call them once (or use your release word if they are in a stay). Then be very quiet. Your dog is going to have to rely on all their senses to locate their favorite person. When your pup finally locates your awesome hiding spot, get excited. Tell them how good they are and give them an extra scratch. Then, play again! To really exhaust your dog, make sure your hide in the far corners of your house. They’ll never know where to find you next.
4. Scavenger Hunt
This game will put that nose to the test. While your dog is otherwise occupied, go around the house and hide treats. Don’t make the hiding spots to easy, you’ll be amazed what your pup’s sniffer can discover. When you are ready, let your dog loose to find the treats. They may not know to go looking for the treats immediately. If this happens, help them locate the first one while saying “find the treat.” After that they’ll know what to look for. Run around the house with your pup to make sure they get all the hidden morsels.
5. Obstacle Course
Not everyone will have enough room in the house for a full blown obstacle course. The beauty of this game, though, is that you can adjust the size of the course based on the availability of space and the items you have at your disposal. A single chair, for example, can provide some serious entertainment. You can teach your dog commands like “on” to get on the chair and “under” to crawl underneath the chair. You can even add an “around” for them to circle around the chair. Exercises like this bring the mental and physical aspects pups love. Once you get the basic commands down, you can introduce more objects. Set up a course of furniture and boxes and lead your pup through. Treats and your excitement will make this activity a sure favorite for your furry friend.
Creativity is Key
Being stuck in side with a ball of energy is never easy. With a little creativity you and your pup won’t even miss the great outdoors. Coming up with games that work your dog’s body and mind will not only wear them out, but will strengthen the bond between you and your dog. What a great way to spend a rainy day inside with your best friend.
Image source: Stuart Madeley/Flickr