An important part of canine health and wellbeing is regular outdoor activities and exercise. However, some days the weather just won’t cooperate and you end up with an overactive dog wreaking havoc on your house. A bored dog = a destructive dog, so it’s important to have a plan in place for days when you just can’t make it to the park. Check out these ideas and tips to combat canine cabin fever.
Scavenger Hunt. Stimulate your dogs senses by hiding treats throughout the house for them to find. This will engage their expert sniffing skills as well as stimulate their minds and stave off boredom. You can use toys with treat compartments. You could even use empty toilet paper rolls by folding one end, placing a treat inside, and folding the other end so that your dog can nudge at the roll until they can retrieve the treat.
Play Date. What’s better than one hyperactive dog in your home? Two or more! Schedule a play date with another friend’s dog. Having a companion will actually help keep your dog occupied and increase the quality of indoor play. Plus it will give you a break from entertaining your dog so that you can focus on enjoying your friend’s company.
Indoor Fetch. If you have a decent sized living room or hallway, you have enough room for a good game of fetch. Use a soft toy or tennis ball so that you don’t damage your walls or furniture accidentally. Tip: Make sure that your dogs nails are trimmed beforehand as running back and forth with long nails can snag carpet and mark up hardwood.
Learn Some Tricks. Grab a bag of treats and teach your dog some new tricks. This activity stimulates your dogs mind and is a rewarding way to keep your dog occupied indoors. You don’t need a lot of room to do this, just enough for your dog to do whatever tricks you’re intending to teach them, such as rolling over or laying down. You can also take this opportunity to practice old tricks and keep them fresh.
Cup & Treat Game. Grab a few cups and some treats and keep your dog entertained with this brain-stimulating activity. Place the treat under one of the cups and then slide the cups around on the floor and see if your dog can keep track of the one with the treat in it. This activity is fun for dogs and very entertaining for humans.
Doggy Stairmaster. As long as you have stairs (and don’t have downstairs neighbors), this is a great indoor activity for dogs. Grab a ball or soft toy and take turns throwing it up the stairs and then down for your dog to fetch. This has the added bonus of giving yourself some low impact cardio as well.
Have a Spa Day. Take the opportunity of having your dog indoors to get some quality grooming time in. Give your dog a bath, trim their nails, brush their teeth, and give their coat a good brushing. Be sure to hand out plenty of treats while doing these activities to encourage good behavior during grooming sessions in the future.
Movie Date. After a long day of play, you and your dog will probably be ready for some rest. Set yourselves up on the couch with some blankets and a favorite movie and enjoy some quality cuddles together.
Your canine friend will thank you for these rainy day treats, and so will your carpet/drywall/furniture, too!