Sometimes with multiple days of rain in a row, we can notice the change in our pets, especially our canine companions! Pent up energy, restlessness, misbehaviour, and indoor destruction are just a few of the things that can occur without the ability to run free outside and blow off some steam! Here are some great ideas to keep your dog (and cat!) entertained, even for when you are off to work!
- Nose work games such as; “find the treat”, snuffle mats, stuffed egg carton puzzles, hide and seek with toys and treats, the cup game and many more!
- Tug of war – playing a game of tug of war is a great way to mentally and physically exercise your dog and engage in meaningful play. Contrary to common belief, playing tug will not make your dog aggressive, and letting them win will not make them dominant, it’ll just be a bit more fun for your them and also encourage play. Tug of war is a great way to exercise your dog indoors as it doesn’t require much room, and as long as you have a few basic rules such as “the game stops if your teeth touch my hand”, then you’re all set for hours of fun!
- Food dispensing toys – make your dog or cat work for their dinner!! There are plenty of food dispensing toys on the market and these can keep mealtime lasting a little bit longer! This can also assist to slow down those dogs that vacuum their food and help reduce the chance of bloat.
- Stuff a Kong – Using a stuffed Kong is a great way to keep your dog occupied while you’re at work. Put your stuffed Kong in the freezer overnight and give it to your dog in the morning as you’re leaving. A frozen Kong will last 30+ minutes for most dogs — much longer if your fill it completely. For example, you can use peanut butter (low or no salt), broth or canned food.
- Buy, make or rotate toys – having the same toys to play with always readily available can make playtime a little boring. Be sure to rotate the toys on offer regularly, or throw a new or handmade one into the mix now and then!
- Doggie playdate – Does your dog have a friend that they perhaps see at the dog park or that lives next door? Invite them over to play! Always keep in mind the temperament of both dogs and how they may react meeting in one another’s homes.
- Old dog/new tricks – let the training go a little bit lately? It doesn’t matter how old your pet is, it is never to late to learn a new command or brush up on some old ones! Be sure to keep these training sessions short, whilst always using repetition in verbal commands and lots of rewards.
- Create an indoor agility course – get creative by using plastic tunnels, yoga mats rolled up (for jumps and weaving) and cushions for ramps! The possibilities are endless, and your dog and perhaps even your cat will love running through it with you!
Remember that spending time and engaging with your pets is incredibly beneficial to their wellbeing, development, and overall happiness. It’s also good for you too! So, what are you waiting for? Try some of these today!