Keep Your Dog Entertained Indoors
With a majority of households in the US practicing self-quarantine pet owners are looking for new and fun ways to entertain their dogs (and themselves) at home. The fact is there are plenty of fun ways to keep you and your dog active even with these new social distancing practices in place. No matter the reason for staying indoors, dogs still need exercise, which means you, the owner, have the responsibility to get creative to keep your furry friend from going stir crazy insides Here are just a few fun new ideas to try with your dog.
You may already have heard of or own a Kong (or similar) toy. These toys are great for dogs because it makes then work and use their head, or tongue, to get a fun treat. These toys can be stuffed with their favorite snack, or to mix it up, try stuffing it with peanut butter, canned pumpkin, or Greek yogurt. Some have even gone so far as to put their dog’s meal in the Kong and seal it with peanut butter. No matter what you choose, this will engage your dog’s body and mind and break up some of the boredom.
Play Some Games
Hide and seek is a great indoor game to play with your dog that doesn’t require any special equipment. And the bonus is this also helps to reinforce your dog’s “sit” and “stay” commands! To play simply give your dog the “sit” or “stay” command, then go hide. Once hidden, call your dog, then remain silent and enjoy the hunt. This is also a great option if you have kids at home as it will teach the dog to obey the children and engaged both in a good activity! See our post 7 Basic Commands Every Puppy Should Know to teach your dog these basic commands.
Learn/Improve Obedience Skills
With your new-found time at home, now is a great time to learn or improve on your dog’s obedience skills. We recommend starting with 7 Basic Commands Every Puppy Should Know. This will give you a good foundation of obedience with your dog If your dog has the basic obedience commands down, consider enrolling them in the Canine Good Citizen™ program hosted by the AKD. This ten-skill program is open to all dogs. CGC is a great way to strengthen your bond with your dog while teaching them how to behave in public.
Go For a Swim
If the weather is warm you might consider taking your dog for a swim. Not everyone has access to a swimming pool or a natural body of water but if you do this can be a great activity and exercise for your dog. If your dog as not yet learned to swim, now could be a great time to teach him, check out our guide; How to Teach Your Dog to Swim for a quick start guide to swimming with your dog. If you notice that your dog is showing a keen interest in water and an affinity for retrieving, you might consider dock diving. This is an exciting dog sport with indoor facilities available across the country.
Try Scent Work
Scent Work is also a great indoor activity for you and your dog. You don’t need a bloodhound for this one, most dogs can do very well with some practice The goal is for your dog to be able to sniff out certain essential oils, but you can start with simple treats you have around the house. To start, offer your dog two boxes, one with a treat and one without. Depending on your dog’s age or how resourceful he is, you might need to start with the box open. Gradually make it more challenging; try closing the lid or turning the box over, so your dog must figure out how to get the treat out. Eventually, you can progress to three or more boxes and more difficult routes to find the box (like placing them in a different room, or under the bed. This is a great indoor activity because it engages your dog’s mind, and gives your dog rewards they find the box with the prize. The final phase would be teaching your dog to find the scent of your keys ;-)
Agility is a fun way for both you and your dog to get some exercise outside as it involves both the dog and the handler navigating a series of obstacle courses. Any dog from the smallest Teacup to the biggest Great Dane can participate, have a great time and even become a champion. Obstacles will typically include things like jumps, weave poles, tunnels, an A-frame, and a seesaw. You may not have access to all of these but many can be improvised with common household objects or found at your local park.
We hope this has given you some ideas to help keep you and your dog active, happy and healthy indoors. Remember to take breaks, be patient and get outside when you can.
- Apr 01, 2020
- in Pet Blog