Whether it's due to scorching heat, pouring rain, or any other reason that keeps you and your dog indoors, finding ways to keep your dog entertained and happy is essential. While outdoor activities may not be an option, there are plenty of engaging indoor alternatives to ensure your dog stays mentally stimulated and physically active. In this blog, we'll explore a range of activities and ideas to help you keep your dog entertained and content while staying indoors.
8 fun things to do with dogs when you're stuck indoors
1. Puzzle toys and treat dispensers
One excellent way to keep your dog mentally engaged indoors is by using puzzle toys and treat dispensers. These interactive toys challenge their problem-solving skills and provide enrichment. Fill them with their favourite treats or part of their daily food allowance, and watch your pup work their way to a tasty reward.
2. Play scent games
Engage your dog's sense of smell by incorporating scent work into their day. This game needs a little preparation beforehand, so do bear that in mind if you want to play.
In a stainless steel chocolate shaker, place 10g of Kong naturals catnip and then place that in a glass jar. Place a few fleece toys or small rolled-up towels in the glass jar alongside the catnip container. Put the lid on the glass jar and leave it to permeate with the catnip scent. Once the toys are scented, only handle them with gloves or tongs so you don't transfer your scent onto them.
Hide these scented toys in various locations around the house and encourage your dog to find them and retrieve them for you. Use a freshly scented toy for each find - if you plan to play this game often, it can be handy always to have items scenting in your glass jar and ready to go anytime you want to play scent games with your dog.
This activity taps into their natural scenting ability and provides mental stimulation. It's a fun and interactive way to entertain your dog indoors.
3. DIY dog enrichment activites
Get creative and set up DIY dog enrichment activities to keep your dog mentally engaged. One idea is to create a snuffle box using an empty container filled with a range of items you'd find around your house, such as yoghurt pots, packing paper, toilet roll tubes, and egg boxes. Scatter treats or kibble within the box and let your dog use their nose to sniff them out. You can also hide treats in a rolled-up towel or create a treat-dispensing bottle puzzle.
4. Interactive games and toys
Engage your dog in interactive games like hide-and-seek, where you hide and let them find you, or play an engaging game of tug with a tug toy. These activities provide mental and physical stimulation, helping your dog stay entertained and active indoors.
5. Training and learning
Use the opportunity of being indoors to reinforce your dog's training and build on current skills or teach them new things. Whether it's basic obedience, life skills or fun tricks, training sessions provide mental stimulation and strengthen the bond between you and your dog.
6. Long-lasting chews
Long-lasting chews can be a fantastic way to keep dogs occupied and entertained whilst indoors. Look for natural, single-ingredient chews, such as venison ears, pigs ears or bulls pizzle and avoid anything with rawhide.
If your dog is raw-fed, you can also consider offering an appropriate raw bone, like lamb ribs or venison necks. Avoid hard, weight-bearing and marrow bones and never offer cooked or smoked bones.
Chews and raw bones help satisfy your dog's natural urge to chew, provide a long-lasting chewing experience and help promote dental health.
Always ensure chews and bones are suitable for your dog's size, breed, and chewing habits, and supervise them during chewing sessions to ensure safety.
7. Indoor treasure hunt
Create a fun treasure hunt indoors for your dog using their favourite toys or treats; super-smelly treats are perfect for this activity. Start by hiding them around one room of your house and encourage your dog to seek them out. As they search and find the toys or treats faster, you can challenge them more by hiding them in different rooms around your house.
8. Indoor balance path
Transform your living room or any spacious area with an indoor balance path for your dog to navigate. Set up a "path" using a variety of items, such as safe household objects or canine fitness equipment incorporating different heights, surfaces, and textures that are suitable and safe for your dog to explore.
Guide your dog slowly along the balance path with treats or a toy. Start with an easy path and gradually increase the difficulty as your dog becomes more comfortable and confident. Remember, if it's proving too challenging, take a step back and make adjustments to ensure it remains a fun and enjoyable experience for your dog.
This activity provides mental stimulation and helps burn off excess energy, all while promoting coordination and boosting your dog's confidence and optimism around new surfaces and textures.
Keeping your dog entertained and fulfilled is essential regardless of the weather or any other reason that calls for indoor activities. By incorporating some of the suggested indoor activities, you can provide your dog with mental stimulation, keep them physically active, and have a whole lot of fun.
Remember to tailor the activities to your dog's preferences, monitor their behaviour, and ensure their safety. With these ideas, you and your dog can enjoy delightful moments together, no matter the circumstances that keep you indoors.
If you liked this post, you might enjoy Essential tips to keep your dog cool in hot weather.
[ POSTED 07 JULY 2023 ]